Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Call for media blackout on Warmington

Published:Friday | August 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Recently, Jamaica celebrated its 53rd anniversary of political independence from Britain.

A day after this anniversary, the symbolic significance of this was, it may be argued, demonstrated by a seeming acceptance of a member of the House of Representatives behaving in a most disgraceful and uncouth manner towards a member of the media. This is a new low in this country's history.

In any self-respecting democratic state where the media, of necessity, play an important role, the tenure of such a member of the House of Representative would have long been history. Nothing less than a resignation would have sufficed.

In view of the nine-day wonder malady that our society seems to suffer from, a reminder of who and what is being referred to within this context is important. I refer to none other than the goodly gentleman who sits in the House of Representatives for the constituency of South West St Catherine, Everald Warmington.

On Friday, August 7, this gentleman demonstrated the breadth of his vocabulary to a member of the media and, by extension, the public at large. This, of course, was after he had pushed away a reporter's camera. All of this was then followed up by what we now know to be an insincere apology in light of his subsequent conduct by making an offensive gesture to a member of the media fraternity and the public at large.

In response to all of this, the best that came from the Press Association of Jamaica was a call for Mr Warmington to apologise and promise not to behave like that in the future. The best that came from the gentleman's political party was an expression of dismay from some officers and, even in one instance, a possible defence that the finger sign could have been the V-sign of the party and not what it was in reality.

Why isn't the Press Association of Jamaica calling for a media blackout regarding any coverage that this man will seek in his political life in the future, or his immediate resignation?

Have we heard from the appropriate voice of the gentleman's party, or is it that, for the sake of political expedience, we will never hear from this voice ever?

The lyrics of Eric Donaldson's song, 'This is the land of my birth, this is my Jamaica, I am proud of the black, green and gold', might cause one to reflect poignantly and wonder whether such behaviour could have come from any member of the legislature in pre-independent Jamaica.

This matter should not end here!

PETER CHAMPAGNIE

Attorney-at-Law

peter.champagnie@gmail.com