Today was likely the last house meeting of the Barrow era, 8 years and some months, and scores of meetings under the leadership of the man bestowed with the title: "Father of the House" - a parliamentary title Barrow earns as having the longest continuous service in the house, 1984 to 2020.
But even though it was probably the last house meeting of the Barrow era - no election date was set - and nothing was settled in the house either. There's no chill in politics, especially with an election only maybe 6 or 7 weeks away.
And so, speaking on the adjournment, the Leader of the Opposition went nuclear on the Minister of Human Development, Anthony Boots Martinez. And Martinez didn't play to respond with his own nuclear warheads. Here's that fiesta back and forth:
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"Yesterday I got a bunch of payments that have been issued by the ministry of human development. Payments made to the minister and to members of his family totaling 1.5 million dollars. I see one member of the minister's family gotten 90 payments for rent $7,760, $5,335 - 90 payments in just over a 5-year span. What I find most interesting though is that the minister also got 86 payments for rent totaling $568,859.85. The other family member got $586,329.55, he said to Jules Vasquez that it was not him, it's a family member of his. But now we find out that both the family member and himself are collecting for the exact same amount. One family member is $67,760 and the minister is collecting $7,760, the next member $5,335.00 and he is collecting $5,335.00 the exact same thing. It makes you wonder what's going on. His ministry is paying him $4,000 for sporting events in Port Loyola constituency January, February, march, April, May, June, July, August, September - 9 months during Covid. There is no sporting activity during Covid, because you cannot have any kind of contact sports. More importantly, I checked with our representative in Port Loyola."
Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, UDP Port Loyola
"Madam Speaker, I am a member of this house you know, they don't have any information of me collecting any $4,000 from my ministry, oh. Let me set the record straight, I, Honorable Anthony Boots Martinez rent no building and collect no money from no ministry. For me I am straight forward, just like how you see it and then you need to understand the Leader of the Opposition, you use to be in government, the community vote what you are referring to that goes to each ministry and you get it through the national assembly - you get the same thing every month. There is no record of the ministry or government paying me any monies for any rental of premises, so they better get that out of their heads, because when you are talking about corruption, me nor none of my family member no went to prison for drugs. We no deh pan dat at all."