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There is a ‘cultural lack of respect’ for HoA Members- Speaker Willock

- cites special treatment given to members of judiciary @ Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport above HoA Members
Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon Julian Willock has said there is a cultural lack of respect for Members of the House of Assembly (HoA). Photo: VINO/File
It was during the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on September 2, 2019, that Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull had shared that he was somewhat embarrassed after being randomly selected for airport security search at the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport on Beef Island while departing the territory recently on official government business and noted that he was going to bring the matter to the Committee of Privileges. Photo: VINO/File
It was during the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on September 2, 2019, that Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull had shared that he was somewhat embarrassed after being randomly selected for airport security search at the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport on Beef Island while departing the territory recently on official government business and noted that he was going to bring the matter to the Committee of Privileges. Photo: VINO/File
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock believes Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) should be given the same respect as members of the judiciary. Photo: Youtube/File
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock believes Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) should be given the same respect as members of the judiciary. Photo: Youtube/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Another Member of the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands (VI) has expressed distaste at the lack of respect being shown towards them by immigration officers and other personnel when entering and leaving the territory via the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.

It was during the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on September 2, 2019, that Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull had shared that he was somewhat embarrassed after being randomly selected for airport security search at the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport on Beef Island while departing the territory recently on official government business and noted that he was going to bring the matter to the Committee of Privileges.

And now Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock has cited the issue as one of “a cultural lack of respect” for members of the HoA.

According to Willock, he has been a victim of this ‘lack of respect’.

‘Not asking any special privileges’

Speaking on the “Big Story” with host Cathy O. Richards on JTV on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, Hon Willock recalled recently arriving at the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, along with a senior member of the judiciary, and witnessed an officer at the airport walking the member of the judiciary to the front of the line while he was made to tow.

In his interview with Ms Richards, Hon Willock said, “One of the things that I have a pet peeve with is ensuring that members are respected. They are elected, their office should be given that respect.”

Fingering what he sees as a possible root cause, Hon Willock said there is a cultural lack of respect for Members of the House of Assembly, “Whether it’s the thirteen elected or myself as Speaker or the Attorney General, the fifteen of us.”

According to Hon Willock, that is something he wants to see corrected, “that members are given due respect, that members are treated with the same courtesies that are extended to the judiciary branch, same courtesies that are being extended to the Governor, our Members are elected, they belong to the legislative branch of government and they must be treated as such.

“Now we are not asking any special privilege. All I am saying is that members must be respected, their Office of Speaker, the Office of Opposition Leader, the Office of the Premier, the Member for the Fourth District, the Member for the Sixth [District] all should be treated with courtesy and respect,” he insisted.

Hon Willock also alluded to instances of HoA Members appearing at public events and not being given the necessary courtesies.

29 Responses to “There is a ‘cultural lack of respect’ for HoA Members- Speaker Willock”

  • vi (19/09/2019, 08:50) Like (24) Dislike (34) Reply
    That is what happens when they employ a bunch of non-belongers who do not know who you are and who are only working a job to make a living; they don't care about us and they will never show respect. Until we fix this issue, you will always encounter this problem
    • My Take (19/09/2019, 09:52) Like (23) Dislike (3) Reply
      We need to re-educate our people in fact some of them do not even know who the house of assembly members are
      • Far too much self importance (19/09/2019, 14:35) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply

        I am not sure why members of the House of Assembly think that they should be entitled to bypass the immigration and customs inspections, or wait in line for those inspections. Are they so important in their own opinions that they can't line up with the common man.
        The fact that a member of the HoA has to line up like everybody else is not a sign of disrespect - indeed it would be disrespectful for a member of the HoA to expect to be bumped to the front of the line, or not to be inspected.
        Perhaps if our HoA members remembered that they are the servants of the people, and not demi-gods for 4 years, then the people's business might be done more efficiently and effectively.

        • @ Far too much self importance (19/09/2019, 20:26) Like (13) Dislike (13) Reply
          Jealousy is a bitch and a killer; of course Willock is the real deal the esteemed

          Now go run with that you hater, that is why you out looking in!!!
    • True (19/09/2019, 11:13) Like (20) Dislike (4) Reply
      This is what happens when belongers don't have a clue that you must be a belonger to be employed as an immigration officer.......Idiot
  • ccc (19/09/2019, 09:10) Like (19) Dislike (20) Reply
    The esteemed is right on this one
  • biker (19/09/2019, 09:53) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    Most of the Easter Caribbean judiciary are long term appointments by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court based in St. Lucia. They frequently travel all over the Eastern Caribbean year after year and are easily recognized by the customs and immigration official on all the islands under this courts jurisdiction.
    The elected members of the the BVI HOA and the other legislatures of the governments of the Eastern Caribbean are elected for terms of 4 years or less and only tend to travel in the EC during their short terms. Hence these individuals are mostly unfamiliar to custom and immigration officials due their short elected terms.
  • opposition (19/09/2019, 10:16) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    So Hon Mitch is off the hook now?
  • myrun (19/09/2019, 10:22) Like (17) Dislike (9) Reply
    Ok mr speaker you got your 2 mins of fame next
  • He has rich white friends (19/09/2019, 11:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Heard an x member was in for 20 years and the same thing happened to him while in office visiting a government department while serving for 19 years
  • watch (19/09/2019, 11:29) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    Respect is something earned . Jumping to the front of the line is a sense of entitlement . Big difference
    • Buzzy Bee (19/09/2019, 12:28) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      True enough! While the elected membership is due a proper amount of courtesy and respect, but they remain amongst us all, equals.
  • Kingfish (19/09/2019, 12:00) Like (44) Dislike (0) Reply
    We all should be treated the same, no special consideration for anyone regardless of their station in life. That is the kind of society that we must all strive for.
  • Windy (19/09/2019, 12:14) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lack of respect for HOA ! imagine that. When one looks to the past and the situation ( broke in debt big time ) now I wonder why. Refer to members as Honorable HAH ! far from it.
  • you ned to know (19/09/2019, 13:16) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ask the airport authority for the list of person exempted from searches. its real simple. know the law before opening your mouth and things would run smoother.
  • Respect is earned not handed down (19/09/2019, 13:37) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    If you, do not repect each other in the House, how are we to show respect to you. If a child sees disrespect among members in authority, they will most likely pattern this behaviour.
  • Just hush. (19/09/2019, 14:50) Like (39) Dislike (1) Reply
    Every day there's numerous affluent folks that visit the BVI not all just to travel via private jet some prefer to be low key and not once have I heard them make any issue about having to wait in line.
    • @ just hush (20/09/2019, 08:49) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      You fool!!! what does that have to do with giving respect to a branch of government chuuups

      You people are so retart
  • who to blame (19/09/2019, 20:04) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Unfortunately BVI has lost it. A perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.
  • CoCaTee (19/09/2019, 20:30) Like (11) Dislike (11) Reply
    We got your back Mr Speaker, that job was made for you!!! you born here, you qualified and one of we.

    YOU Have a Dam right to DEMAN RESPECT IN YOUR HOME LAND
  • VIslander (19/09/2019, 21:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    If you want to compare the Judiciary and the HOA, lets do.
    The Judiciary actually have the professional coutesy of informing the Immigration and Customs Departments when they expect resident and visiting judges/justices.
    The resident judges are met by their protocol officers, who have established professional relationships with officers at the ports.
    On the other hamd, the members of the HOA travel, and they expect officers at the ports to telepathecally know that they are on a particular flight or ferry.
    While the office should be respected, the holder of the office should equally display humility, in that way, you will garner the respect desired.
    To whom much is given, much is required...Just a tip!

    • @ VIslander (20/09/2019, 06:02) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      Now now now stop the lies stop the spin stop the spin the Julian Willock I know is one of the most humble guy in the room.

      Come on, the election is over and vip is in all the way and they or Willock are going no where anytime soon now take that to the bank
  • chad (19/09/2019, 22:02) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Many of you leaders should take a page out of Hon. Andrew Fahie's book. He can teach you guys a thing or two. A few times i have witnessed this good gentleman come through the lines at ports, especially west end (especially post Irma), and officers ask him to come forward when they spot him in line, and he would say, no go ahead, and would wait his turn, all the while holding conversation with other residents and visitors in the line. He did this, even as Leader of the Opposition.
    Maybe you all should see your time in line as an opportunity to help to welcome our guests...the responsibility is not just Immigration and Customs officers ONLY! Just a thought.
  • pat (20/09/2019, 06:04) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    Mr Willock is right these people are out of order, give me the name of the person so they could be put on blast

    All house of assembly members deserve our collective respect
  • John doe (20/09/2019, 13:50) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    the speaker of the house is righ,t also the opposition leader or any other elected member in the govt ' i believe that, respect should be shown to these people whether we like it or not we some of us as Caribbean people treat our elected members of govt too unmannerly especially when they dont belong to the party we support . so i agree with mr Willock
  • Willie Roach (20/09/2019, 22:04) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    A lot of negative cultures have developed in the BVI and they are directed MOSTLY
    at other BVISLANDERS.


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