The minister raised the issue during yesterday’s September 10, 2021, virtual sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA) under Other Business where he hinted that a generation gap might be responsible for these alleged behaviours.
“I grew up in a very different period from now, where persons acting with dignity and respect was an integral part of BVI society,” he said while highlighting some common greetings and salutations, including public etiquette practices.
“These things were not done because we thought anybody was better than us, these acts of respect are about us and how we feel about ourselves, because the way we feel about ourselves is the way we treat others,” he said.
The minister said on Facebook, he has observed persons casually disrespecting others and even taking it further to disrespect elected officials.
“I never thought I would have seen the day when persons would openly disrespect elected officials the way I’m seeing it today, Mr Speaker, this concerns me,” Hon Wheatley said.
He further said that some persons would use excuses that officials are not behaving in an honourable way as such the disrespect is justified.
“No, I should never agree to that. Respect is an internal thing,” Hon Wheatley underscored.
He said when persons start to practice self-respect then they will begin to respect others. He called for an end to the behaviour as quickly as possible.
“In this age of social media where information is available to anyone even the smallest child, they have a smartphone and they can go on the smartphone and they look at anything they want to look at, so we must be very careful what we as individuals put out there and the behaviours that we put out there also,” he said.