Tue | May 23, 2017

Stop bad-mind Holness' house

Published:Sunday | July 19, 2015 | 7:00 AM

I saw the pictures and it was definitely a "WOW! This is the guy who says the economy isn't going well?" But anyway, stop bad-mind Andrew fi him house! When people work hard and earn dem money, they're entitled to do with it as they please. People too bad-mind.

Honestly, I was trying to avoid writing about this thing. When the pictures started circulating on social media, I was, like, genuinely shocked. Because, really, like, who erects a castle without a moat and a drawbridge guarded by trolls and dragons?

Actually, I didn't appreciate the blogs calling it 'ghetto fabulous' and 'buttu baroque'. I thought that was disrespectful. I like the look.

Then it was some Labour Party people who kept bringing it up, and because internal party politics is de wickidiss

politics, I was determined to ignore it. I didn't care if it was the 2.5 million-ton, 19-bedroom, gilt-edged marble-tiled white elephant in the room.

Well, actually, I brushed on it one time. That was because of the NHT board's comical story that it was investing in Outameni as a tourist attraction. So I figured that NHT could finance 'The Great Wall of Beverley' as a legit tourist hotspot. At that time, I didn't even mention my idea for umbrella-covered seating and tea and crumpets (brought by manservants) on the south wall.

Or, since it's bigger than the indoor stadium, that political parties could have conferences there, but, y'know, with refreshments, and with G2K's hotties in bikinis at the pool. I was saving those business ideas till later to discuss with Andy on the private.

Anyway, nobody took me seriously. But I figure every diaspora Jamaican would want to see the progress from back in the bad old days when leaders were living in bamboo huts. Y'know, rumour is that when rain used to fall, Norman had to set a pot by his bedside to catch wata, and even Busta used to haffi sleep inna him wata boot cuz de roof nuh good.

Bigger than MP salary

All that reticence is gone now. Andrew himself has brought the issue forward.

There's the delicate matter that MPs don't make a lot of money. Or, rather, to put it more palatably, their pay is moderate in view of the responsibilities they discharge. And I raise that only to explain why the mystery of Beverly Garrison was so perplexing.

Many were asking: How can Mr Holness possibly afford that concrete compound, palace, fortress, citadel, and stronghold? What's the word? Garrison. From a 'pallytishan' salary? No way. Not possible. A $5,000,000 salary doesn't pay for an estimated $250,000,000 worth of real estate. Nutting do not goh soh.

Plus, Andrew has boasted of coming from a modest background, and he has been politically involved for the last 20 years, meaning his full working life. So unless wifey has been making real boatloads, it's inexplicable.

That's why I carefully studied his letter to the press. It was sorta low on detail. In fact, I can't remember much aside from the good part where he blasted the 'haters': Don't hate the playa, hate the game!

But it's not only bad-minded drinkers of 'haterade' who want to know how this thing is possible. Some people just want to learn how to invest like a pro. Even me! Cuz I want a three-car garage, some SUVs, a 'Jaqweezy' inside, and an outside infinity pool over Kingston.

But right now (sake of financial embarrassment), I'm working with an ex-taxi deportee, and bathing is out of the question in this NWC regime. But I have ambition.

Managed his finances well

Well, Andrew says he managed his finances well - and I believe it! Seems like he's managed it really, really well. In fact, better than when David Smith was banging so hard that Audley wanted to give him the Consolidated Fund for trading! Ah nuh mickle, muckle, and penny-pinching building dat deh garrison. There's another explanation.

That's when it dawned on me: Andrew lick Lotto and nah talk. And we're not talking about Cash Pot, Pick 3, Lucky 5, or Dollaz. Dem deh ah small winnings! This was either Lotto with the bonus ball, or more likely Super Lotto with the super ball. But Andrew nah talk.

Can you blame him? From people hear you have something, they're on the doorstep, which is another reason to build a sizable wall so they can't reach the door. You have to keep news scarce and make the beggin' hard, or every cousin, second cousin, and fifth cousin twice removed will turn up.

Another thing! Trouble if they hear that you, as a political leader, win lotto! It would be hell to raise a dollar after that. Everybody will say: "Him rich! Don't give him nutten."

That's why the man nah talk.

These are the reasons why people collect winnings in private, or turn up at the lotto office with some big, dark eyeglasses, a hat, nuff makeup, and maybe even a wig. Some come full Caitlyn Jenner. Who knows? Maybe that's what happened here, maybe even with Al Miller at the wheel.

Same way, if I ever ketch de lotto, not a living soul gwine know. Only thing: I would build a really big house about the size of Andrew's kitchen. Other than that: Quiet. Shtum!

So you know what? I'm happy for the guy. Forget the haters. Bad mind is active!

- Daniel Thwaites is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.