We can’t all be Senecas

Carmen Gomez

When I speak of unhelpful attitudes, I would like to say that being a minister does not entitle one to treat others in a patronising way, or look down on them. It has not helped to have heard the word “stupid” recently used by one minister in his afternoon press conference, when referring to those who apparently had repeatedly returned forms incorrectly filled in. As if it were the norm to use such a word when talking about someone who fails to understand something, which he or she feels is quite clear cut!

What I am trying to say here is, that there are people out there who are not necessarily either computer literate; or online buffs etc; and calling them “Stupid” only makes the minister appear a bully and a rude one at that! May I remind ministers, that many of us have been used to a different way of doing things for years; and one cannot presume that we are going to be able to cope with the new way of doing things, just because others can?


I am seeing this happen too often these days in many walks of life, and the result of this kind of behaviour only serves to make the person it is directed at feel like a total imbecile or prat (If you excuse the word that I use). This is not on gentlemen. Everyone, whether a top of the class student or a trier who sadly never achieves top grades; has to be respected equally; and if the latter, they have to be helped with a degree of patience and a smidgeon of humility!

Some people for example, have never used direct debit to pay for their bills; many have enjoyed going to pay for their bills because it gave them a chance to step out and socialise. They been used to going to their bank and be attended to by the staff there, when they wish to debit their accounts and receive a copy of their transaction, in order to help them keep their affairs in order; or receiving a bank statement to check whether pensions have been credited to one’s account etc.

Furthermore, this is of great importance to me and others like me, who neither understands, nor cares to use online banking. However it appears that; according to a young bank clerk; due to uncertainties over the present global situation, in the future there will be no one at the bank to help the client, and business will have to be done online. I’m angry about this and ask why we should be forced to do something we are not in agreement with. Many elderly and not so elderly people are being sidelined here. Has anyone thought of making provisions for those of us who prefer the old ways of doing things? Surely this is the least a bank can do for its client.