BVI News

Opposition demands respect: Cites disregard in district, legislator publicly searched at airport

Some members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn and Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull are demanding more respect for their office.

 Speaking at Monday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, Penn, who is also the Eighth District Representative, said he has been experiencing a lack of respect by certain members and supporters of the VIP government.

“It seems to me somehow some persons forget that February 25 happened, and the people of the Eighth re-elected their representative. I don’t know how but there seems to be this constant push in our district where persons are interfering and assuming responsibility for the district when there is a duly elected member for the district,” Penn said.

He continued: “I heard the Premier in one of his maiden speeches that no district will be left behind, and all district representatives will be respected and he made that clear to his ministers. And yet you have some unelected men in these districts, and they are walking around with their chest high and they are telling you what will happen here and there. I — the person who the people elected — is being pushed on the side for persons who were not elected.”

Premier, please intervene

Penn then called on the Premier to intervene in the matter.

“Premier I want you to reinforce what you said in this honourable House, that your ministers need to respect the duly elected representatives. Even if you don’t want to do projects through us, have a conversation, and that is the respectful thing to do,” Penn said.

In the meantime, another opposition member, Turnbull, is also calling for greater respect as an elected representative.

Legislator publicly searched at airport

Turnbull recounted an incident at the TB Lettsome International Airport where he was on official duty and was randomly searched in the public.

“I don’t have a problem being searched because I am not going to carry or do anything in contradiction to the office for which I was sworn in. But what baffles me is this is … when we travel overseas or to any of the other Caribbean islands, courtesies are extended to members of parliament that in my view we are given the respect that is due to a representative or a member of parliament for the particular country,” Turnbull said.

“Here, I am not travelling on my own behalf, having my suitcase open in the public and searched in front of everybody passing. It is something that we need to address because I understand that there is a list. I don’t know if the Premier and the Governor are on that list of exempted members, but that’s what I understood. So I am bringing it up so that no other member of parliament would be embarrassed leaving the country to travel for the government.”

Matter to be raised in Privileges Committee

He said the BVI should follow the other countries and put provisions in place to give members of parliament who are travelling on official business the ‘privilege’ due to them.

Turnbull then said he will raise the matter in the next Privileges Committee’s meeting.

“It is the matter of protocol for members of this honourable House, and maybe it happens to some, and it does not happen to others,” he remarked.

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  1. Go away says:

    Respect should be earned. Not demanded. Ever.

    Like 41
    Dislike 6
  2. true says:

    He is speaking of Diplomatic Immunity treatment which is afforded to diplomats of countries, he is in a territory.

    Like 24
    Dislike 5
    • It's Posted says:

      The list of exempted persons is posted at the Beef Island airport, on the wall straight ahead as you pass through the Security Screening area. If you feel entitled to special treatment, review the list and notify the Supervisor if you feel that entitlement.

  3. Respect Denied says:

    We don’t want to hear anything from Hon. Turnbull about respect. We remember how you spoke to your then boss Dr.Smith in the HOA. You’re the wrong messager.

    Like 38
    Dislike 4
    • Yep says:

      That is why his career in Politics will not go very far. Mitch cannot be taken seriously or trusted in the Political arena. Look at how he flew into a hissy fit because a security personal who was doing a job they were hired to do asked him to open his luggage.

      Like 16
      Dislike 1
  4. just amaxed says:

    Spoiled brats
    Get over yourselves …. the whole bunch of you . You have real work to do for the territory and its people. Hang your ego outside the door before you come in …… please ….

    Like 35
  5. humble yo self says:

    As a former worker at the airport, I can remember seeing Dancia Penn as deputy governor, respected lawyer, former attorney general and member of legislative council pulled aside for search just about every time she was travelling. She never said hoot. She humble herself and did whatever she was told. After a while she seem to be quite prepared whenever she went through security. Big difference in how people see themselves. Humility will take you a long where when arrogance will take you off the road.
    Young man, please chill. Who on earth do you believe you are?

    Like 50
    Dislike 1
    • Look at it this way says:

      There is classy and non classy.Dancia is classy and M—-is non classy. Just who the heck this man child think he is? Nothing more than a egotistical narcissistic little rude child that needs to grow up and learn some serious manners.

      Like 19
  6. Concerned says:

    Are you all for real, that is what you have to discuss at HOA. I would have thought there was real work to be done for the people who elected you. Why should any of you not be searched at the airport? Come to think of it with money being carried out of the country, elected representatives should be the first in line to be searched.

    Like 38
  7. WTF says:

    They want to be happy and make me sad bwahhaaa.

    Now classsssssss.

  8. To Big to such up says:

    Are you bigger than the people that elected you?

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
    • Soooo true says:

      We are One BVI! If persons in the territory want to help out the communities that’s a wonderful thing. Your concern is that these individuals may do more than you do, and possibly beat you at the polls next election! Power is not given, it’s earned!

  9. Ego maniac says:

    That petulant child is crying again? Mitch and his family clan think too much of themselves. If they search you just comply. There are international regulations that the airports have to live up to. Why is your ego always on 100%. Soo many important things that need to happen in the country and you are complaining about taking off your shoes? Greedy and power hungry person. It’s thag same greed and hunger for power is what break up the NDP. He was at the heart of it because he didn’t win their election.

    Like 35
  10. Ahem!!! says:

    The House of Cards is slowing sinking like the Titanic.

    Like 14
  11. Will say.... says:


    Like 19
  12. lol says:

    You people are dumb bad and can never understand the point being made…Always a bunch of silly/personal comments.

    Like 4
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    • @lol says:

      It is not that serious. It was very unprofessional of him. He didn’t have to make it a big issue.outside of the BVI, the elected members are nobody’s, no one cares. Only the Premier and Governour should be exempted at the airport. So it is okay for the everyday people to be stopped at security. But good Ole Mitch is to good for that. Boy calm down,you are not that special. Only in Tortola you can run that S**t.

      Like 25
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      • Agreed says:

        Only the Governour and the Premier should be exempted. The rest of the Administration should go through security like everyone else. Flight Attendants and Pilots have to go through security before they board planes.

        Like 12
  13. only in the BVI says:

    The government customs had hon Mitch searched but allowed an excon like Buju to pass free….Well sah!

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  14. Pleazeee says:

    Mitch is nothing but a clown that got rejected from the circus.

    Like 19
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  15. Mr.Turnbull says:


    Like 15
  16. LMAO says:

    MITCH: Er,security, don’t you know who I am?

    Security: Nope,and just who the H*ll are You? Kevin Hart’s little stunt double?

    Like 13
  17. Me Also says:

    I also wonder by what criteria are people randomly selected for Body searches because I have been through the air port 4 times since the beginning of the year and I have been searched three times. Am I that lucky?

  18. Who knows says:

    Maybe he got stopped because of his height. Short men always look suspicious.

    Like 15
  19. FOR REAL says:

    @ Mr. Turnbull….if you are going to become an english professor at least get the damn thing right.
    people was..I don’t think so. Back to school.

  20. Blah says:

    The former NDP minister of Education and Fraser had a long back and forth about Fraser using the horse track in his district to hold a function. Marlon was in government at the time and I dont recall him defending the elected member of the 3rd district. Fahie talked about the same disrespect about NDP ministers doing projects in his district without his knowledge or input now the shoe on the other foot they crying.

    Like 3
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  21. Hmm says:

    Laundry will be hang out…..

    • Can you just imagine says:

      How a person like Mitch can be behind closed door? Tantrums, hissy fits,crying you name it when things don’t go the way he wants. But, like they say,short men have a tik and complex about being short.

      • All of them says:

        That Turnbull family act like they are the golden family of Tortola. LOL, they sure as heck not. Mitch need to go sit his little self down with the lifts he have built in his shoes to give the appearance that he is taller than he is. Wow, it must be hard being a short man.

  22. What a shame says:

    Why would Turnbull bring such stupidity about being searched at the airport up in HOA? That goes to show you Mitch could careless about the people he begged to vote for him. He is looking for status and only cares about himself and that rat looking…..he is……to.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Some of these comments are just disgraceful.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  24. Faith says:

    I personally am not a fan of the Honourable Member, but I have to agree with him on this one. When I worked at LegCo years ago, all Members, while travelling on official business, would be taken directly to a special lounge upon their arrival at the airport to await the departure of their flights. They never had to go through any lines, including security, like the ordinary traveller. They didn’t even had to check themselves in for the flight. Someone from the airline would come to that room and take their passports and luggage and check them in. It is proper protocol. It is my belief that the security officer on duty that day had a pet peeve with the Member and decided to humiliate him. This situation needs to be fixed before any other Member endures this treatment. The people of his District elected him to serve, therefore he should receive the same treatment as other elected officials.

    Like 3
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  25. logic says:

    Mitch, the people elected you to serve, not for them to serve you. Lead by example and demonstrate to people that you respect the laws of the land and the airport security measures.

    Like 10
  26. Quiet Warrior says:

    To the cry babies, respect is earned, not demanded. If you have to demand it, perhaps, it is not deserved. Your constituents are screened all the time in the interest of safety so are you better and bigger than constituents. If your constituents do it in the interest of safety why cannot you? Of the many problems ( economic, social, political, cultural) that the VI faces, look what these yahoos want to focus on. Clearly, they are about self interest, not the people’s interest. The next constitutional review needs a recall feature so that we don’t have to wait an eternity to kick pompous asses to the curb.

  27. Blah says:

    Mitch is absolutely right. There should be special accommodations made for government officials especially in government facilities and institutions. It’s common in every part of the world. The problem is he comes across as pompous when he brings this up. He should have let the people or the Premier bring this matter to the forefront.

  28. Was not says:

    Why would he take something like that to the HOA. If Mitch only know how stupid he looks now. I keep telling you all Mitch is not ready for Politics.

  29. HMM says:

    This is nonsense. No man is above the law! It seems as though he has something up his sleeve.Before he take a look at his districts he here talking piss. Hurricane came through and i aint see or here from him and this is what he come up with. I want back my money for paying persons to come and clear 2nd district roads which he should have done.
    Maybe he wants no screening to get away with i—— things again.

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