Speaker dismisses threats by Mitchell


Deputy Chief Reporter


HOUSE Speaker Halson Moultrie is not concerned about Senator Fred Mitchell’s threats to seek compensation for what Mitchell called a “blood libel” against him.

“When Jesus walked the face of the earth even as the saviour, people said things about him,” Mr Moultrie said in response to questions from the media when the House adjourned yesterday. “So I have no problem.

“I am reminded of my grandmother’s statement: sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. So I am not concerned. All is forgiven. I understand the spirit of which it was done.”

Last week in an apparent swipe at Mr Mitchell, Mr Moultrie accused Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Davis of taking advice from “reprobates” and “perverts” with a track record of denying and hating women. His comments came as he addressed Parliament about his decision to suspend Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin from the House.

“My name might begin with ‘M’ but the first three letters are Mou and not Mit. Don’t mix me up. I am not a soft powder puff man. I am a real man,” he continued.

These words, Mr Mitchell said during a rally in Nassau Village last Thursday, put enmity between his and Mr Moultrie’s house, adding he would use all his energy to pursue the matter.

Mr Moultrie, Mr Mitchell also said, was too “dumb and thin skinned” to understand that public figures are often subject to attacks.

“So we are in the belly of the beast,” Mr Mitchell said as he addressed PLP supporters at a rally in the Speaker’s constituency – Nassau Village – on Thursday night.

“I am saying here tonight in his constituency that he owes all of us the leader, the leader’s wife me, (former parliamentary clerk) Mr Maurice Tynes and the staff of the House of Assembly a complete and unqualified withdrawal and apology of all those hateful remarks without conditions, no conditions. This is not subject to negotiation, a complete and unqualified apology and withdrawal.

“I am not joking. The attack was personal on me. I have told everyone that I reserve the right when someone attacks me personally to go at you, ya ma, ya wife and ya children.

“I am not joking. This is the second time I have had to say this in my public life and I said this to another public figure in the Free National Movement who serves in the government today and he may think I forgot it, but I haven’t forgotten it.

“And I say this to the Speaker, you have committed a blood libel against me. You put enmity between my house and your house to the end of my days, I want you to know it,” Mr Mitchell continued.

“I will not relent and I will use all of my energies to seek adequate compensation for this libel. And when I am gone I promise you my nephews, my nieces, my brothers, my sisters, my family, all of them will be pursuing the redress in my name for this grave injustice. You can take that to the bank and cash it.”

Mr Mitchell said what transpired in the House of Assembly last Wednesday was proof the FNM and its leadership were unfit to govern the country.

“Who asked him whether he was a powder puff or whether he was soft? Who asked him that? No one as far as I was aware. He put his own character into question when he put that information into the public domain. Presumably a man who claims he is a text book husband and a lover for 30 years presumably his wife is aware that he is not soft or a powder puff.

“You, Mr Speaker, fail to remember that amongst your FNM colleagues there are many of them who would be offended because in their own lives when they were growing up people called them powder puffs and soft. I saw some of them banging on the tables in the House of Assembly and laughing, I could call the names. Someone sent me a list and I don’t know the origins of the list and I am sure I’m not the only one who has the list, but I am not going to go there tonight. But I got the list and I can call the names. Dig one grave and dig two.

“And then, Mr Speaker, you claim that you are a real man, I don’t care who asked you to declare that either, that is a sure sign of mental instability when you question your own gender identity,” Mr Mitchell also said on Thursday night.