Source: Nation Newspaper
On Tuesday, the Opposition Party in a show of protest boycotted the sitting of the Lower House. They have indicated that they will be taking their message about the Hardwoods Factory Housing Affair to the streets of Barbados for the people to decide. Their decision stems from what they perceive to be inequitable treatment in parliament by the government controlled Lower House. With the DLP committed to the boycott, Denis Kellman made the personal decision to take his seat in parliament. According to reports, his stay did not exceed two minutes. He has given the reason for breaking ranks with his colleagues his commitment to attend parliament whenever he is in the country.
We commend Denis Kellman for taking the job of Member of Parliament so seriously.
On the flip-side to this position is the notion of collective responsibility which we wish to explore. The Leader of the Opposition is about to lead the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) into an election battle and as part of a strategy, he has decided to keep his party from attending parliament for the rest of the year. It’s his strategy and we don’t have to agree. The concern which we have is the decision by Kellman to override the party position based on his personal position. We again commend Kellman’s willingness to be committed to a personal goal. We wonder if in this case he shouldn’t have exercised better judgment. To continue to feed the public perception that he is not part of the team by insisting that he should sit in parliament for a useless two minutes appears to have been a farcical decision. For a man who has spent over a decade on the opposition benches, Kellman should be amenable to adjusting his ‘lone ranger’ behaviour for the collective good of the party he claims to serve. This is an issue where he had to weigh the benefit of attending parliament for two minutes, compared to the goodwill his Democratic Labour Party is expected to receive from the boycott.
In the back of our minds is a question mark which we have about Kellman and his loyalty to David Thompson. Has he forgotten what transpired when he and David Estwick were critical of David Thompson during the tussle for leadership of the party? Kellman will have to make some important decisions, and very soon, if he does not want to derail party plans.