I refer to an editorial captioned ‘King of the City’ which appeared in the Thursday, January 23, 2018 edition of your newspaper.
It has become a new trend for editorial columns to be used as a platform to ridicule, vilify and name-call. The caption of the editorial referred to Town Clerk Royston King as ‘King of the City’ and also referred to him as carrying out the mandate of the ruling cabal. Editorials are personalized opinion pieces of editors or their representatives, but this column has degenerated into a form of artillery which aims at character assassination.
An editorial is designed to build an argument on facts and reasons, and advocates for or against a particular issue. The editorial noted that the Town Clerk had intended to build houses for the city’s hierarchy including himself. If the law supports the action or intended action of the Clerk, then there is no dereliction of duty. Hence, the call by the editorial for the Town Clerk to be sanctioned is ill-founded, feeble and without merit.
Newspapers often use an editorial to influence readers concerning important local and international issues, but this editorial is more personalized; the name of Mr King appeared twelve times. The author referred to the Town Clerk as leaning towards absolutism. The word absolutism is a political theory that suggests absolute powers vested in one or more leaders, and consequently, there is freedom from law and organized powers. The Municipal and District Councils Act empowers and constraints the Town Clerk. Hence, the author of the editorial lacks the basic knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the Town Clerk.
This is clear attack on the person and office of the Town Clerk. I rather suspect that this is a deliberate attack which has its genesis in the parking meter project which the Stabroek News vehemently opposes, due to the fact that it represents the business class. It is noised abroad that several businessmen in the city would like take control of this initiative. Why should the city partner with them when it has been reported that the business community collectively owes the council millions in rates?
Finally, Editor, it is preposterous that a community group is opposing the use of Farnum playground by schoolchildren. Recreational activities are pivotal to the physiological and sociological development of children. Therefore, the children should not be deprived of an opportunity in this regard. It is therefore clear that there are some persons who do not want to see the advancement of the city, even if it means undermining the development of the nation’s most valuable resources.
Marla Prince Soberes