Speaker Warns MPs About Photos, Social Media

August 10, 2018

Speaker of the House Dennis Lister issued a warning to MPs today [Aug 10], telling them that photos of House proceedings are not allowed, and also informing them that any member who is posting on social media about “events that are taking place during the House, at the time that it’s happening, is out of order.”

The Speaker’s comments follow after photos and a video circulated recently, with the images showing various MPs who appeared to be sleeping in the House of Assembly.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Aug 10], Speaker Lister said, “I’d like to deal with a matter that surfaced after we left these Chambers when we last sat, and that is in reference to the photographs that were taken inside of these Chambers.

“Let me say first for the listening audience, this Speaker has no issue with members who may seem to have their eyes closed at a moment, taking a rest. I’ve been in this Chamber almost 30 years and I don’t think there’s any member whose has ever sat in here who hasn’t had a moment’s rest at some point, so the sleeping was no issue for me, it’s the photographs that’s the issue.

“We’re all supposed to be adults in here. I’m don’t expect childish behavior, and to circulate photographs of individual members in here in that manner was not of the proper decorum of these Chambers and will not be tolerated,” Speaker Lister continued.

“The Standing Orders as they are written today, bans all use of any electronic device, including laptops, but we have been lenient to allow laptops as time has moved on, we’ve been lenient with some of the other technical devices that are of a modern age.

“As you know there’s a review taking place now of Standing Orders. When that is complete, it will address the proper procedures for the proper use of those devices in here. But under no circumstances are photography, photographs of any proceedings in this House allowed – by anyone.

“So I will ask all members to refrain themselves from taking any photographs without the permission of the Speaker of any member inside of this Chamber.

“Second to that, on that same note of social media, we need to address the use of social media technology. I’m not as savvy as some of you, Twitter, and things of that nature should not be taking place of proceedings that are happening in this House during the time that they are taking place.

“Any member who is Tweeting or social mediaing events that are taking place during the House, at the time that it’s happening, is out of order and against the decorum that we want from this House.

“I have instructed the Sergeant of Arms that should any member be seen to be abusing their privilege, that the Sergeant of Arms will confiscate that particular electronic device that’s being used, and there will be further sanctions from the Speaker towards that member.

“So putting all members on notice today, that this has to be stopped. And if it takes me having to have a heavy, heavy hand to stop it, I will use a heavy hand to stop it.

“But I’m reminding you, that each of you are all adults, and I expect you to act like adults, and not a classroom of school children.”

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Comments (22)

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  1. redrose says:

    But why has he not rebuked the person/people responsible?

    • Ty says:

      Hey redrose.

      Think about your statement real hard – go over the PLP members in the HOA and then answer your own question. I bet you get a chuckle out of your answer. LOL LOL

      • Why do they have to wear those silly wigs?
        Oh ya, de Colony dress code.

        • Yes says:

          Yes, that is our heritage and history, deal with it or gtfo

        • Eye 4 and Eye says:

          Don’t like it. Tough? I trust you ask the same ignorant questions when you see people wearing traditional African dress in Bernuda?

          • Traditional African dress in Bermuda is a part of our African History which was stolen from us by wig wearing pirates.

        • Anbu says:

          Listers hairdo, weeve, same same.

      • Redrose says:

        Yes I did think about it thank you – and I know why but that does not mean people like me should not ask and hopefully in doing so, others will ask as well

  2. John says:

    Glad to see sleeping on the job is of no issue to Mr. Speaker

    Just because it has been done in the past doesn’t mean its ok…What a weak excuse for someone who is supposed to be intelligent.

    • sandgrownan says:

      He’s essentially condoning the behavior.

      That said, I’d prefer this bunch to stay asleep, they can do less damage that way.

  3. jim bob says:

    Wait……the speaker has no issue with sleeping in the house? How can they be working on my behalf if they are sleeping during proceedings? Talk about a farce. It is quite clear they do not want camera’s in the house because they would have to be held accountable. Can you imagine if MP’s were sleeping the UK Parliament? In stead of camera’s not being of proper decorum i think he needs to make that same rule for sleeping in the house!

  4. SMDH says:

    So Joe Bermudian is forced to pay the Chamber crew while they sleep on the job and we can’t find where money is being squandered.

    Oh right the speaker is ok with it… Nevermind.

  5. puzzled says:

    You can’t make this stuff up.
    You vote these ppl in and they condone this.

    Gives a new meaning to ‘see level rise’

    Namaste Bermuda.

  6. Paul says:

    So who bought the no doze for the members today ?

  7. Nicky says:

    There should be a camera in the house video taping all the time so “the people” can see who is sleeping on the job. A bill should be passed t allow this!

    The speaker seems to have a problem with the messenger, and not the message. The speaker is not doing his job and neither are those MP’ caught sleeping. Do not threaten to shoot the messenger as that is a dangerous game you are playing.

  8. Yes…well…I put a mop on my head said the same damn thing

  9. Question says:

    So public workers paid by the taxpayer are freely allowed to sleep when they should be working. And the only rebuke is for the ‘snitch’ who allowed the public a glimpse of what is going on up there.

    How typically Bermudian.

  10. aceboy says:

    Kim Swan claimed he wasn’t sleeping but was looking at his phone. What an idiot! He should have kept his mouth shut. There is no problem with the sleeping, but using the phone is prohibited…because you might take a picture of a sleeping MP. Lol! Oh what a tangled web!

  11. Imjustsaying says:

    So sleeping on the job is ok, taking photos is a no no. No wonder the country in the state that it’s in.

  12. Slipnut says:

    Wow! Now let’s live feed every sitting of this house. After all it’s only our business their doing. As Bermudains we can do better just because it’s done in other countries doesn’t make it right. I ask you this question, who gets paid to sleep on their job?