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Trading political jabs

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The Smith Cove issue triggered a trading of political jabs on the LA floor.
Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin set the ball rolling, criticizing an editorial in the Compass newspaper and two former Government backbenchers Winston Connolly and Alva Suckoo for sharing the editorial on their social media pages.

“But more and more it is becoming expected that the Fourth Elected member from Bodden Town and the Fifth Elected Member from George Town feel compelled to jump aboard any  convenient bandwagon to criticise the Government for, in my opinion, purely self-serving reasons,” the Premier said.

Both members quickly defended their stands.

For Mr Suckoo sharing the link to the story was not a complete endorsement of its contents.

“I was simply stating that I agreed with the Compass editorial I did not say which part. I think it is a sad day that the Premier takes that position that me as a  public official cannot have a public opinion,” he said.

As Mr Connolly said he was just sharing information with his constituents.

“If forwarding a newspaper article is jumping on a bandwagon then… guilty. But If I cannot express my opinion by forwarding something on social media for my constituents then it is a sad day for democracy,” Mr Connolly said.

House Speaker Julianna O’Connor-Connolly eventually told all sides to move on.

“Let’s keep the comments through the chair, otherwise I am taking a suspension and no-one will get to ask questions. We are all statesmen and states lady on the floor,” she said.

But the Premier, not to be out done, left the first time MLAs with a parting shot and a peek at the 2017 campaign.

“They need to toughen their skins over the course of the next seven or eight months ’cause if they believe, if they believe Alden McLaughlin is going to sit idly by while they live on social media and not respond they have another thing coming,” the Premier said.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

Kirk Freeport – May 2019
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