EDITOR, The Tribune.
THE symbolic ringing of the bell which was anxiously anticipated by almost everyone finally happened on Tuesday. How could the government screw up such a routine procedure?
I could not believe what I saw and heard! After hearing the Commissioner of Police read the proclamation dissolving the House, I was waiting for him to read the second proclamation fixing the date for the new parliament.
No such announcement. How could you dissolve parliament without setting a date for a new parliament? Why not provide both proclamations at the same time as had been done for decades. Why put the Commissioner of Police through the hassle of having to appear in Rawson Square on two separate occasions for something that should have been accomplished in one trip? Does he not have other very important matters to attend to?
Adding insult to injury we had the spectacle of the Attorney General and the Secretary to the Cabinet (attired in her red blouse no less) accompanying the Commissioner of Police. What role did these two members of the executive branch play in the dissolution of parliament? Was this merely a final photo opportunity for these two retiring political appointees? Why involve the Commissioner in this political travesty? But this is the kind of games we have come to expect from this prime minister and this secretary to the cabinet. Clearly they have no regard for our national institutions or their traditions.
Watching from the vantage point from the television the Commissioner of Police was visibly upset while reading the proclamation. He had every right to be. He obviously wanted no part in this charade. He wanted only to have his senior officers with him as had been the tradition in the past. I am told that the Commissioner and his entourage, which included the Attorney General and the secretary to the cabinet, walked from the cabinet office where this entire mockery was staged. In the past the commissioner drove to Government House, retrieved the proclamation(s), headed straight to the steps of the House of Assembly and proceeded to read the proclamation. No political interference, no ugly display of colour Red and no red folder for the commissioner to read from.
On television, it appeared as if the Commissioner of Police was visibly upset while reading the proclamation. He had every right to be. The government turned what ought to have been a simple, routine ceremony into a political charade.
Shame on them!
April 11, 2012.