Mr Wright has not helped himselfMonday, June 14, 2021
So, Mr George Wright, the Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Central, finally decided to break his long silence since he fell under a cloud of suspicion when a video showing a man mercilessly beating a woman went viral in April.
To date, Mr Wright has neither admitted nor denied that he is the man in the video, which has triggered national outrage, calls for his resignation, and his eventual application for a leave of absence from the legislature which was scheduled to end on June 21.
In fact, the closest Mr Wright came to addressing the matter was this past weekend when, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, he employed the use of illeism, saying: “George Wright should not be a person who should be accused of any form of abuse, not to a woman, not to a boy, not even to an animal.”
He also said that people have already drawn their own conclusion and have been saying all sorts of things.
“I have also given the security forces and the media houses to do their due diligence on George Wright, so I have no reason to speak publicly about it,” he added.
By not addressing the issue directly Mr Wright has not helped himself, and his use of the third person in reference to himself has only served to portray him as narcissistic.
To be fair to Mr Wright, self-obsession is a trait we have detected in a number of people who have got involved in politics. It comes to the fore especially when they are in Government, as they perceive that they are the people's saviour and, as such, become detached from reality.
In this case, Mr Wright is either blind to the political consequences of his continued silence on this matter, or has chosen to ignore the public perception that he is the man seen in the video and whose actions have left a bitter taste in people's mouth.
As it now stands, Mr Wright, having resigned from the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), is currently an independent member of the Parliament. The fact that he was elected by the people of Westmoreland Central in the last general election and he has not been convicted of any crime in a court of law means that he cannot be expelled from the House.
Just over a week ago we had suggested in this space that Mr Wright go beyond his resignation from the JLP and do the patriotic thing by resigning from the Parliament. That, though, doesn't seem to be a position shared by Mr Wright and, quite frankly, he is not obligated to accept our recommendation.
However, his case has revived interest in implementing provisions for the recall of Members of Parliament on the basis of a petition signed by voters in an Member of Parliament's constituency.
We recall that this proposal received strong support during the deliberations on constitutional reform more than two decades ago.
In fact, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding pointed to that fact in this newspaper last month, adding that most contracts contain provisions for termination by either party during the life of the contract. However, while an MP can terminate the contract by resigning, voters have no means of termination, even if a majority of them are utterly dissatisfied with the parliamentarian's performance or consider him or her unfit to continue to serve.
We share Mr Golding's view that the idea has much to recommend it. But it needs serious and careful debate.
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