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Columns : Opinions - Joye Ritchie Greene Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

A Disappointing Failure
By Joye Ritchie-Greene
Nov 22, 2007 - 9:40:02 AM

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Tosheena Robinson-Blair of The Bahama Journal attributed the following quotes to Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham during his contribution on amending the Juries Act on October 22, 2007.   Prime Minister Ingraham was referring to former Prime Minister Perry G. Christie when he said:

"I would hold my head down in shame, Mr. Speaker, if at the end of my five-year term there are 100 plus persons charged with murder who I could not cause to be tried within two years.

"I would be ashamed of myself. I would say to the Bahamas ‘I am a failure. I have failed thee and my punishment of being voted out of office is minor; I should get more major punishment than that’."

Prime Minister Ingraham was not satisfied with having already lambasted Mr. Christie so he continued his onslaught of verbal attacks saying:

"You have no shame, Christie. You have no shame. You should be embarrassed. You are a most neglectful government…The public had good reason to fire you."

Not wanting to seem as if they were not outraged by Prime Minister Ingraham’s verbal assault on Mr. Christie, MPs for the PLP held a press conference on October 28, 2007 to respond to the remarks Prime Minister Ingraham made in the House of Assembly a week earlier.  

Kendea Jones of The Bahama Journal quoted Opposition Leader in the House Dr. Bernard Nottage as saying:

"We believe that the Prime Minister owes an apology to the leader of the PLP, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, to all of us as PLPs and to the country for his totally unacceptable behaviour at the last sitting of the House.

"His words, his tenor and his manner were unparliamentary and were abusive. It is not conduct, which is appropriate for a Prime Minister. It certainly sets a bad example for the entire society, especially the children watching the proceedings of the House of Assembly."

However, the rest of Dr. Nottage’s comments were directly related to the Juries Act that is presently being debated in the House.   It therefore makes one wonder if their concern was really about what Prime Minister Ingraham said or if the Opposition simply wanted a forum outside of Parliament to air their views on the Juries Act.

To say that one is a “failure,” is to suggest that the individual is “unsuccessful or disappointing; non-performance of something required or expected” (Collins English Dictionary 2003).   While some of you may have enjoyed this theatrical performance that the two leaders recently displayed, because you thought it made for excellent fodder in the workplace, perhaps you need to think about whether or not you are a failure in your own lives.

It is the role of parents to ensure that their children are given the necessary tools to survive in various social settings.   However, when you do not teach them crucial life skills, you have in reality failed as a parent.  

A parent is the first and most important teacher in a child’s life and when fundamental skills are not taught the child cannot behave as is expected of him.   So while you may have enjoyed the dribble spewed from the Lower House a few weeks ago, stop and take a few minutes to examine whether or not someone may have to accuse you of being a failure to your children.

This week I challenge you to grade yourself.   Will you pass the mark, or will you receive an F grade?   Do your children need to fire you?   Many schools and churches now have programmes to help parents improve their parenting skills.   If you think you are challenged in this area of your life, or just need some support, seek the help you need.   Your children deserve to have the best training possible.   Don’t continue to disappoint them by being a failure.



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