AG and PLP senator clash in Senate
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Unions have decided to call off the annual Labour Day parade, according to Senator Jamal Moss.
Moss explained the 2020 march has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns after a meeting between unions and the government.
He was making a point of clarification during a contribution by Senator and Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell.
Moss said: “I just want to make it vey clear to the Bahamian people, it was not the government. The union made a conscious decision, a meeting which I was a part of, that we made a conscious decision in the best interest of our members of our members to not have Labor Day this year because of the fear of COVID-19 and what it could do to our memberships.”
Moss noted it was suggested earlier in the Lower House that the government was responsible for the parade’s cancellation.
In response, Mitchell underscored his right to express his displeasure over the matter as a citizen of the Bahamas.
“The unions can decide whatever the unions wanna do,” Mitchell said.
“I’m just telling you the 5th of June is Labor Day and I celebrate Labor Day.”
“This is the problem right, I have this with younger people all the time,” he continued.
“They always trying to prescribe what you must do, or that we must be part of a group. Don’t try to prescribe what I must do, I do what I wanna do I’m a free agent and individual.
“I’m just saying, these are freedoms people fought for. They fought very hard for them and you don’t just dispense of them.”
Mitchell’s response led to heckling from both Moss and Senator and Attorney General Carl Bethel from their seats.
The PLP Senator continued: “I’m saying I hear all of that and you weigh that in the balance. But I’m saying to you right, that you mean to tell me I can’t even get up and say in the Senate that I think we ought to celebrate Labor Day. I must sit down and shut up because the unions decide that they are not marching.”
Standing on a point of order, Bethel accused Mitchell of casting aspersions on the intent of Moss’ clarification.
“It is offensive for the member opposite to cast and aspersion when a point of clarification of fact was being brought forward,” Bethel said.
“The member opposite made a suggestion that the government is just all of its own because someone whispered in the king’s ear, let’s take that analogy.”
Both Moss and Mitchell rose to their feet in a shouting match as Senate President Dr Mildred Hall-Watson appealed for order.
Mitchell denied the accusation.
Bethel continued: “When Senator Moss answered him with the facts, (Mitchell) he offensively suggested Moss was trying to shut him down merely by giving him the facts. Take the facts go on with your speech and any time you come with a misstatement you will be corrected.”
Mitchell said: “The day I take a lecture from you is the day pigs get wings.”
Bethel could be heard saying: “They must be flying now.”
Mitchell said: “They crashed in the ground, that’s what happened. You’re talking fool.”