Categorized | Editorial, Local, News

Is it good being irresponsible when trying to hold someone else accountable?

Editorial – August 25, 2012

The past week began with some loud and extravagant calls for the resignation of Minister of Education, Health Community Services and Sports particularly via the internet and MNIAlive website. It must be believed that some of the voices via the comment section of the website must have been from Montserrat, but on island it was not too evident. The matter being an alleged report of sexual assault between a 12-year-old boy and a reported two-year-old girl.

The issue of comment here arose out of the report on the website which, while in our judgement was certainly not one of the Editor’s better commentary, especially it admitted to not having spoken to the main player or players, whose supposed actions were considered questionable. The end of our observation on that is, because of the nature of the matter, reporting, questions and comments should have been cautious.

Was the report or complaint one of concern, we say very serious concern especially when before end of the ensuing week there was another report involving another alleged assault this time involving two slightly older boys and an older girl of four.

It would appear that MNIAlive heard from the victim’s parent in the matter, just like we had. However what ensued from the beginning, the name calling, allusions and calls for resignation and firing of the minister were most unwarranted. The matter could have served to highlight and call for a further serious conversation to address what is becoming more a concern as it becomes a focus in the region including little Montserrat. As the Minister had calmly asserted, having been brought into the picture and having conversed with all parties, he saw more reason to keeping the boy under his guarded watch and took the boy to St. Kitts-Nevis with the cricket team. Everyone is entitled to and could have a different opinion on his judgment.

The crime as seen from the report was that Minister Riley allowed the accused twelve-year-old boy to travel the next day with an under-13 team to St. Kitts-Nevis (see lead story in today’s issue). We have to conclude that if the facts and the circumstances were known as we knew them, the matter would have been reported differently.

What concerns us is, to make Minister Riley, a monster of dishonor, given the feeling that the matter was considered a ‘horific assault’, to suggest and then questioned as to whether he was complicit in his actions done pretty much in concert with the ‘court’, requires much more thought than what brought the fury, the political hatred and partisan behavior that seems to be so easily awakened among our people.

We offer that there are other issues, the same plus others, different from the initial incident that brought this about, that require serious comment, or just comment, so that those who are responsible for any action, good or bad, know that there are those out there, who are not just political stooges and yes-men, hanging their mouths.

Most of the comments were vicious and empty, and do not be surprised if legal redress is sought. When the visiting friend of the victims family in the matter under scrutiny sought to clear up factual matters, they turned on her. When the Premier refused comment, they turned on him. Everyone has a right to an opinion and to express that opinion, but we should all remember that freedom and right must be tempered that you do not trample on someone else’s freedom.

Let it be that when minds get clear and know that while all kinds of things can go wrong even when they should not, it is good to call up those responsible and hold them accountable, but it is also our duty to be responsible. That way, we will get children who begin to learn about their rights, and as the people of Montserrat learn more about their rights, truly understand that they come with responsibilities and knowledge about other people’s rights.

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Editorial – August 25, 2012

The past week began with some loud and extravagant calls for the resignation of Minister of Education, Health Community Services and Sports particularly via the internet and MNIAlive website. It must be believed that some of the voices via the comment section of the website must have been from Montserrat, but on island it was not too evident. The matter being an alleged report of sexual assault between a 12-year-old boy and a reported two-year-old girl.

The issue of comment here arose out of the report on the website which, while in our judgement was certainly not one of the Editor’s better commentary, especially it admitted to not having spoken to the main player or players, whose supposed actions were considered questionable. The end of our observation on that is, because of the nature of the matter, reporting, questions and comments should have been cautious.

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Was the report or complaint one of concern, we say very serious concern especially when before end of the ensuing week there was another report involving another alleged assault this time involving two slightly older boys and an older girl of four.

It would appear that MNIAlive heard from the victim’s parent in the matter, just like we had. However what ensued from the beginning, the name calling, allusions and calls for resignation and firing of the minister were most unwarranted. The matter could have served to highlight and call for a further serious conversation to address what is becoming more a concern as it becomes a focus in the region including little Montserrat. As the Minister had calmly asserted, having been brought into the picture and having conversed with all parties, he saw more reason to keeping the boy under his guarded watch and took the boy to St. Kitts-Nevis with the cricket team. Everyone is entitled to and could have a different opinion on his judgment.

The crime as seen from the report was that Minister Riley allowed the accused twelve-year-old boy to travel the next day with an under-13 team to St. Kitts-Nevis (see lead story in today’s issue). We have to conclude that if the facts and the circumstances were known as we knew them, the matter would have been reported differently.

What concerns us is, to make Minister Riley, a monster of dishonor, given the feeling that the matter was considered a ‘horific assault’, to suggest and then questioned as to whether he was complicit in his actions done pretty much in concert with the ‘court’, requires much more thought than what brought the fury, the political hatred and partisan behavior that seems to be so easily awakened among our people.

We offer that there are other issues, the same plus others, different from the initial incident that brought this about, that require serious comment, or just comment, so that those who are responsible for any action, good or bad, know that there are those out there, who are not just political stooges and yes-men, hanging their mouths.

Most of the comments were vicious and empty, and do not be surprised if legal redress is sought. When the visiting friend of the victims family in the matter under scrutiny sought to clear up factual matters, they turned on her. When the Premier refused comment, they turned on him. Everyone has a right to an opinion and to express that opinion, but we should all remember that freedom and right must be tempered that you do not trample on someone else’s freedom.

Let it be that when minds get clear and know that while all kinds of things can go wrong even when they should not, it is good to call up those responsible and hold them accountable, but it is also our duty to be responsible. That way, we will get children who begin to learn about their rights, and as the people of Montserrat learn more about their rights, truly understand that they come with responsibilities and knowledge about other people’s rights.