BVI News

Smith blasts legislators for constant lateness! Calls for penalties

Government legislator Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith

Territorial At-Large Representative, Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith has lambasted his fellow legislators for their constant tardiness at public events, particularly in the House of Assembly (HOA) where residents are often left waiting for hours past the advertised start time of proceedings.

While speaking in the HOA recently, Smith, who is also the Deputy House Speaker, argued that the constant lateness has been happening far too often and shows a poor example for residents of the territory.

“They’re all here, smiling and laughing, but I’m very upset with my members for a lot of reasons and one of the main reasons is, our attendance, our tardiness. We have to do better,” Smith urged.

According to Smith, the indiscipline plummeted to new depths during the Friendship Day activities held on Tortola over the weekend between the US Virgin Islands and the BVI. “I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, but I think it came to a low when we had Friendship Day. It came to a low, and I spoke to my members already but I got to speak to them in public because I want them know I’m serious about it,” he added.

“We cannot continue to disrespect each other when it comes to being on time,” he said. “I come to every House of Assembly [sitting] on time, every function that we have, I come on time as well and to me it’s disrespectful for me that I have to be here early every single time and wait till every member show up here.”

Smith said that despite repeated entreaties from current Speaker Corine George-Massicote, nothing has changed regarding the behaviour of his fellow legislators. He also argued that the poor behaviour also negatively affected the staff of the HOA who are left waiting for hours on legislators.

“We can’t expect people to respect us and take us seriously if we continue coming in here the time we come in here and people waiting on us. It’s not right,” the first-term legislator argued.

Smith said there must be some way they could “punish each other” for tardiness going forward.

“Whether we start charging some sort of fine, and it goes towards a charity or something, but something have to happen,“ Smith pleaded.

“I am on the same level with each one of them here, we’re all on the same level, and I respect each one of you all, but Lord, respect me too,” he added.

Smith explained that he joined the HOA from the private sector where he was required to be on time for activities. He further argued that he was not seeking any popularity and noted that legislators should not be asking persons to listen to them and respect them in light of their behaviour.

“What are we teaching our children or the younger people?” Smith asked. “Our leaders coming late, and when we come late we even don’t apologise.”


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  1. The watchdog says:

    He is right the esteemed could not get them to come on time now under the new speaker it’s even worse

    We must vote them all out

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  2. Do you mean to tell me says:

    that even with the UK breeding down their necks and watching them like a hawk, these legislators still cant show up to work on time?

    What is wrong with these people?

    Ordinary folks who show up to work late repeatedly eventually get fired. This crew needs to go.

    This is ridiculous. Their chronic tardiness shows they have little regard for the job they were elected to do.

    These late comers clearly are not taking their jobs seriously nor the peoples business. They all needs to be fired imo. Had enough of them.

    If they don’t want the job, they need to get out of the way to make way for someone else who want to do the work.

    Like 31
  3. Me says:

    Hon. Smith I could shake your hand. You are on point and thank you for speaking out. I’m a young leader in the community and I feel so ashamed when I tune in to HOA at the supposedly starting time and have to wait a whole hour sometimes before it begins. This is very disrespectful to all and your points are salient. I like the penalties of giving late fees to charity….maybe that’s a start????But you guys need to do better.

    Like 21
  4. ROCK STARS says:

    This is why I don’t go to political rallys. It’s advertised for 6, they show up one by one all of 8pm. Then they sit around and laugh and talk, then they play with their phones. They aren’t about the people they keep asking for their votes. They are definitely about themselves. They make laws they don’t intend to follow, they go where they want when they want. Once you become a member of the house you are a free agent, you come and go as you please, do as you please when you please. Respect is not in the vocabulary at that point, it’s out the window. You are in line in customs and immigration in front of the rest of the plane load, no one has to search your bag. You sit in a room just for you on your way out. These people are just “special”. On time? Poor Mr. Smith, he obviously didn’t get the memo.

    Like 17
  5. ADHD symptom says:

    is chronic lateness. Therefore every member of the HOA that is always late has ADHD and incompetent for public office due to mental disease or defect.

    ADHD = Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  6. Johnny says:

    Make them punch a time clock and get paid an hourly wage. You’ll see them show up early, then order take out.

  7. Agree with sheep 100% says:

    Hon Smith obviously had enough. Every event they show up late and not just 20-30mins 2 and 3 hrs. No wonder we have such indescipline civil service. Look at the examples.

  8. BuzzBvi says:

    Real easy. Not there at start. Marked as none attendance. After 3 no shows you no longer have a seat and Nev takes it like Fahies. He will have them all in the end. And so he should. He on point with this and has a lot of Gov contracts too. Go Sheepily. But go. You right.

  9. Roger Burnett says:

    Being late is endemic throughout the region, especially in terms of politicians and top civil servants.

    One such “top civil servant” labeled me as the most arrogant Englishman he had ever met. Why…because he twice failed to show up for a meeting at my premises that he had requested. I received no apology.

    However, as he urgently needed my expertise on a matter, I granted him a third appointment: this time at his office at his suggested time and date.

    I was at his office ten minutes beforehand. His secretary was surprised as he had not entered the meeting in his diary. She tried to contact him but got no response from his cell phone.

    I waited 20 minutes beyond the appointed time and then came home. Shortly afterwards he called me to say I was the most arrogant Englishman he had ever met. He went on to inform me that in the Caribbean you patiently wait: he was just down the street talking to some friends!

  10. Licher and Shicher says:

    Sleep, I mean Sheep, I mean Nevil need to go sit his tired a** down.

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