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Dropping the F-bomb

19 February 2010, 13:26  - TG
Dear Editor,

I was slightly amused and a bit saddened at the response to Dianne Kohler-Barnard's use of the F-bomb in Parliament. Amused because of the harsh, self-righteous tone condemning her: "Kohler-Barnard's behaviour was unparliamentary, unbecoming and offensive in the extreme" Saddened because it highlights the fact that maybe we're currently missing the point in South Africa - we're straining out gnats and swallowing camels.

I'm not condoning Kohler-Barnard's behaviour, and nobody should really be saying F-you to anyone, at any time - it's not cool. However, it's funny that her "sin" was judged so harshly because she blurted it out in the sacred, hallowed halls of Parliament. Like if it was in the pub, that’s fine, but Parliament? Golly, gosh, no! The problem is that is that there are much greater sins taking place in our government.

What about all the wasteful expenditure of government officials? Fancy cars, stays at exclusive, luxury hotels; excessive budget vote parties. Could a government official or Member of Parliament be accused of being "unparliamentary" if he or she is guilty of wasteful expenditure?

What about the mess we're in when it comes to service delivery? Households without water, sanitation and electricity. Often some of these issues are not even debated and talked about enough in Parliament, hence the "people" are not being properly represented and Parliament is failing in its constitutional obligation. Could this not be considered "unbecoming" behaviour?

Could it not be considered "offensive in the extreme" that South Africa has such major issues when it comes to healthcare, education and crime? That people are dying because government has failed to fulfil its mandate and provide leadership and direction on these issues.

Perhaps by focusing on the F-bomb we are neglecting to consider the weightier matters of the law such as justice, mercy and faithfulness.

TG

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