Fri | Jun 2, 2023

Gordon Robinson | The essence of parrotting

Published:Tuesday | May 23, 2023 | 12:11 AM
Sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House in June 2021.
Sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House in June 2021.

Over in our favourite Fantasyland, Apocrypha, two government MPs believed they were victims of political victimisation.

So they met and discussed how to address the unwarranted attacks. This is how, on this visit to Apocrypha, we find Just Lazy People (JLP) MPs, Madessa Dasymple-Phlitterbug, also House Speaker, and Crufford Warrington huddling to brainstorm the issue.

Why? The Opposition party, Promises Not Performance (PNP), was recently guilty of extensive encroachments on press freedom yet almost every public comment on the matter included comparisons with unconnected JLP misconduct. It was as if public commentators were more afraid of being branded partisan than concerned about the current issue.

Warrington complained “Dem a chink! I wasn’t even there when di journalist dem was attack!”

Dasymple-Phlitterbug chimed in “#MeToo. All I did was discourage unparliamentarily conduct. Is why dem call my name inna di odder drama?”

Frustrated, they agreed to retain political consultant Oma D’unn. Regular readers remember Oma who, despite his PhD in Logic, was, like a moon, bright only in the dark but skilled at solving political problems by parable.

Oma told them to buy a parrot. They didn’t understand so he told a story of polite carpet fitters.

“An attractive lady hired two carpet fitters to replace her sitting-room carpet after her pet parrot made a terrible mess of the old carpet.

The carpet fitters were stereotypical blue collar workers but respectful enough not to make any lewd jokes or double-entendre at her expense.”

Apologies for sounding like Jay Leno who explains every joke but you get it? What do Parrots do? They parrot their owners. Right?

Moving on…

“They took up the old carpet; carried it outside into their van for disposal. They took the new carpet in and spent particular care laying it correctly because good work and attention to detail was their calling card. After they’d fitted the carpet one of the fitters realized there was a lump in the middle! He checked his pockets. Oops, he didn’t have his cigarettes. He quickly grabbed a dead blow hammer and squashed the cigarettes flat.

Whew! There was no visible lump left in the carpet. At that moment the lady walked in the room and was overjoyed when she saw their work. She praised them highly and promised a big tip. Then she mentioned she had picked up a packet of cigarettes from the table in the hall and asked if either of them had seen her parrot … .”

Madessa and Crufford were lost so Oma explained parrots are like good spin doctors who make a mess then try to cover-up their messes thus creating havoc. Being transparent by admitting wrongdoing early is better. Then commentators would have no fodder for complaints and parrots would be spreading truth.

Fake “balance”

Back in JamRock, mayhem took place at PNP Headquarters on May 8. It’s still unclear whether PNP accepts responsibility for the cruelty or even acknowledges any wrongdoing. Since then, political comment on the subject often insists on parroting stale stories of Everald Warmington’s several spoken slip-ups to establish he’s as bad. But Warmington said nothing at PNP Headquarters.

So how’d his name find its way into public commentary on THIS issue? Of what are we afraid that causes this fake “balance”? Regarding the Speaker’s Victorian approach to 21st century parliament, what has she to do with the issue? The sole connection between Wednesday’s parliamentary preckeh and Monday night’s atrocity at PNP Headquarters is as another example of PNP flip-flopping on acceptance of wrongdoing as Mark Golding attacked the Speaker’s ruling AFTER his MP accepted it.

Btw, that a word is in the dictionary doesn’t make it acceptable in Parliament. That word is one I’ve had “discussions” about with the Gleaner where I consider it perfectly acceptable like any word in anything calling itself literature. In Parliament, it’s arguable. To become pedantic about it AFTER a Speaker’s ruling has been accepted by the “offender” isn’t a good look. No lawyer would dare address any Judge’s ruling like that.

But, the disrespect for the ruling also exposed obtuseness. Lothan, the Speaker’s target, dealt with it adroitly and intelligently in substituting “beating around the bush” – a brilliant double entendre that flew over the Speaker’s (and, seemingly, Mark’s) head.

So, last week, it was PNP wrongdoing that ought to have been the focus. Don’t worry. Be patient. JLP will soon give us plenty fodder for public critique. Neither party can help itself. Attempts to criticize both whenever only one is immediately deserving is false equivalence.

Peace and Love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Send feedback to