September 20, 2020

“Three Blind Mice” hold Shadow Parliament

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There was between 150 – 200 persons outside the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (10) to watch a Shadow Parliament that was in session complete with a ‘Speaker’ (Consuelo Ebanks) and six members of the LA. Independent member from North Side, Ezzard Miller, Leader of the PPM, Alden McLaughlin and PPM MLA Arden McLean all spoke in debating a “No Confidence Motion” that was not placed on the Order Paper despite being approved by the Speaker of the House, Mary Lawrence.

The six opposition members boycotted the official sitting of parliament because of the refusal of the Business Committee to put the no confidence motion on the Order Paper.

Ellio Solomon, UDP member for George Town called Miller, McLaughlin and McLean the “three blind mice” as they marched out of the Chamber followed by Kurt Tibbetts, Moses Kirkconnell and Anthony Eden. He also said the previous walk out at the Business Committee Meeting was “reckless” and “irresponsible” and they were acting like “spoiled children” who couldn’t get their way and have their  “motion heard today.”

Speaking about the incident on CITN/Cayman27’s “The Panel” show Wednesday (9) evening, Mr. Miller said they had acted “very responsible” and “Ellio has a simple lack of knowledge of practice in Parliament. He can only say what he is told to say. He speaks when he is allowed to speak. He can’t take an independent position. None [referring to the other UDP backbenchers] of them can.”

In referring to the other walk out at the Business Committee Meeting, Miller said Government members on the committee outnumber the opposition members 3 to 2 and when the “No Confidence Motion” was refused to be placed on Wednesday’s order paper the opposition members asked to have it recorded they disagreed with this. They were told, “You can’t,” and, “These are my meetings and these are my minutes.”

Miller made a valid point when he also said on the TV show, “Whether in parliament or elsewhere, when someone disagrees they have a right to ask for their disagreement to be put in writing in the minutes. You can’t say to the committee these are my meetings and these are my minutes. It is not your minutes – it is the minutes of the committee.”

Although the Shadow Parliament proceedings were held with good humour by everybody there, it almost started out differently. Many people, including the wheel chaired Consuelo Ebanks, were moved from their positions immediately outside of the LA building by the RCIPS. They had acted on instructions from the LA’s Sergeant at Arms that were questioned by Miller and McLaughlin when they learnt about it. The Sergeant at Arms said he was enforcing the members of the LA Dignitaries and Privileges Law. However, the law only covers the members’ car park by the sidewalk. McLaughlin was visibly upset at the police action. Miller questioned why the police outside the LA were taking notice of any instruction from the Sergeant of Arms who only had jurisdiction inside the building?

The good natured crowd did comply and moved to Heroes Square but I can only wonder what could have happened in other more excitable countries.

Although the LA proceedings should have taken place at 10 am they did not commence until an hour later but no reason was given for the delay. At 10:30am, when Miller and McLaughlin went outside and learnt what the police had done, McLaughlin invited everyone to come inside the LA and watch from the Public Gallery. This caused some chaos because everyone had to stand in line and sign in.

Eventually the Shadow Parliamentary Meeting did take place and the three opposition members made their speeches informing the crowd present why they were calling the “No Confidence Motion” and asking the premier to resign. The reason was because of the three police inquiries against Premier McKeeva Bush. With some gravity along with laughter the motion was put to the people and carried unanimously.

The crowd dispersed peacefully after it was all over.

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