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Michael Dingwall | Enough with political hypocrites

Published:Monday | October 31, 2016 | 10:00 AMMichael Dingwall
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer In this April 15, 2010 photograph is seen a web of illegal electricity connections from JPS high-tension wires in Allman Town, central Kingston.

Last Friday, I could not leave out as early as usual and my near 50-year-old stereo was tuned in to a local talk-show programme. I heard a talk-show host-turned-minister-turned-talk-show host again talking, from the Institute of Jamaica, about the murder of a 14-year-old Jamaica College student on a bus Wednesday and the apparent lack of concern shown by the other passengers to the crime.

Now, while anyone in his right mind must be appalled at what happened to that high-school student, and would certainly not wish that for anyone, I could not help but wonder as to the hypocrisy of that talk-show host who, by the way, is a sitting member of parliament (MP) and the parliamentary representative for what many would call a garrison.

 

Bigger concerns

 

That politician, who is well known, was lamenting how the other passengers sat by and watched the crime and did nothing. However, I wonder what that politician would have done if he was on that bus. Would he have done a 'Jackie Chang' on the murderer? Anyway, I have bigger concerns with that particular politician - and, indeed, many others in Jamaica.

The constituency that that politician represents, which happens to be where the Institute of Jamaica is, oddly enough, is one of the best examples of poverty that this country has to show the world. To the politician and talk-show host who talks about people ignoring crime, I have this question: Why is it that he himself continues to ignore crimes that are occurring within his own constituency?

 

Illegal throw-ups

 

When one passes by some of those roads that head south, and others, and look at the Jamaica Public Service Company wires, one cannot help but wonder how those lines still continue to conduct electricity. The large number of illegal throw-ups that extract electricity are so many, in some instances, they form a dense web that any spider would be very jealous of.

Now, I know that that MP must be very much aware of those throw-ups, which are evidence of crimes. Now why it is that that MP doesn't do something about those crimes? Could it be that if he tries to get those residents to regularise their electricity supplies, his days as an MP would be finished? Why does that MP not do something about those crimes, which he must be seeing regularly if he is doing his job as an MP?

That garrison constituency is a creation of these politicians. Now, I am not here saying that this particular MP and talk-show host created that specific garrison. However, he has been the MP for that constituency for a long time. That garrison has proven to be a safe seat for him. Now, why is it that he does not spend less time flapping his jawbone on air and more time trying to dismantle that garrison - one of many stains on our political landscape?

The same could be said of the grinding poverty and crime that that constituency (or should I say fiefdom) is so well known for. This talk-show host always talks about the need to move Jamaica forward. Based on the state of his constituency, why does he not try to move his own constituency forward? Shouldn't parson be taking care of his pickney first?

There are many other constituencies that rival that of this particular talk-show host, so this MP is by no means an anomaly. These politicians like to urge us to be proud Jamaicans, when, by the very state of their constituencies, they tell us that all they do is talk and talk (and fool and fool). If only these supposedly honourable burner politicians who like to call the kettle black would do more and chat less, we would have a much better Jamaica.

As to this particular politician, please, start practising what you preach!

- Michael A. Dingwall is a regular letter writer to The Gleaner. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and michael_a_dingwall@hotmail.com.