Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley has bemoaned the lack of respect towards legislators in the BVI.
Noting that it is an issue that pains him very much, Wheatley said incidents of disrespect are mostly perpetrated on social media.
“When I see that persons just very, very casually would go on Facebook
and disrespect each other. And they even take it further than that – they even disrespect elected officials. I never thought I would have seen a day when persons would openly disrespect elected officials the way I’m seeing today,” said Wheatley who is a government minister.
He further said the justification that ministers don’t act in an honourable way — therefore allowing persons to feel free to disrespect them — was not acceptable.
“I could never agree to that, respect is an internal thing,” Wheatley said. “You don’t respect me because of who you think I am or not, I am respected because it is the right thing for you to do.”
According to Minister Wheatley, he grew up in a different BVI society where persons acted with dignity and respect. He said these attributes were an integral part of society at the time.
The minister told the House of Assembly that simple and basic pleasantries such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘good morning’ were said as signs of respect that represented how persons felt about themselves.
The Minister said he longed to see locals getting back to a time when there was more self-respect — something which he felt would allow persons to demonstrate more respect for others around them.
“This degradation I’ve seen of manners and respect – it is very, very concerning and I hope we can put an end to this as quickly as possible,” he added.