Sun | Jan 29, 2023

Who says politics is boring?

Published:Monday | March 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Daviot Kelly.
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden.
Pearnell Charles
K.D. Knight

Two very disturbing statements from two elder politicians, both directed at women, have caught my attention.

The first was Labour Minister Pearnel Charles' comments about Edith Allwood-Anderson, and the second was Opposition member K.D. Knight's comments about Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne. Now, I get upset all the time, but sometimes you just have to count to whatever number it takes or just find another way of saying it.

Charles told the fiery nurse that if she can't understand uptown language, she should remain downtown. Unlike some jabs from him (remember the one about Portia's pothole?) this one wasn't even remotely funny! The pothole one might make you grin, just because of how it sounds. But this one speaks to a negative mindset. Minister Charles' statement reeks of the same class boundaries we are trying to eliminate. There is no place for the uptown/downtown argument when people are trying to get what they deserve, which, for the nurses, is their hard-earned money.

Politically correct

Not to be outdone, the 'Sheriff' (Knight), isn't the most politically correct bloke either. He's used to calling people cretins and other such 'pleasantries', so it was no surprise he let loose when agitated in the Senate. Too bad it was Minister Lightbourne in his cross hairs. Calling her rude, or whatever else, is one thing; calling her downright stupid (with emphasis), in the presence of their fellow senators, is another.

The rules aren't the same for men and women. That's just the way it is. The same two politicians will make similar or worse remarks about their male colleagues without half the hubbub. There's something about saying these things to women that make them even more of a no-no. Perhaps it's because without women, none of us would be here (di cloning thing nuh take off yet).

Now I'm not sure what can be done about the whole situation. Apologising at this stage of proceedings is rather late for both guys because any apology would look forced. Plus, we don't foresee them changing their style.

On the lighter side, 'oops' moments are not confined to our lovely shores. United States Vice President Joe Biden was introducing Barack Obama after the signing of the troublesome health care reform package. The microphone caught him saying "this is a big fdeal!" To make things worse or better, (you decide) is that the big man, Obama, seemed to say "thank you" before repeating thanks to the cheering audience and going into his speech.

One thing these snippets do is remind us that politicians are still quite human and while they may impart words of wisdom, they do have the occasional slip-up.

And who says politics is boring?

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