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Chuck warns Parliament about the media

Published:Saturday | April 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Delroy Chuck, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of Parliament's Standing Finance Committee, has painted journalists as enemies of politicians.

While rebuking rowdy members of parliament (MPs) who were disturbing the sitting of the committee, Chuck warned the sitting to beware of what members said in the presence of the media.

"The media don't like any politician," Chuck said, as he warned members to be careful of the sotto voce (under voice) comments they made.

"Every single thing that you say that is destructive that really puts us in a bad light, the media is the first to highlight it ... . When you are calm and ok, that is not news, but when you open your mouth, that is what they pick up and try to knock us down with and we are our worst enemies at that," Chuck added.

Aspects of Wednesday's examination of the 2010-2011 Estimates of Expenditure were interrupted by crosstalk, jabs and rowdy outbursts by some members.

Derrick Kellier, the leader of opposition business, suggested that Chuck be guided by the standing orders and bring to book MPs in breach of committee rules.

"We can't conduct the exercise in an atmosphere of chaos and acrimony," Kellier said.

Central Westmoreland MP Roger Clarke also had a suggestion.

"The breathalyser must be used in this Parliament," he quipped.