Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Aristotle’s Jottings | Some People Are More Equal Than Others

Published:Thursday | April 6, 2017 | 4:00 AM

I find it hard to comprehend why all Jamaicans are not, in reality, equal. Are we not supposed to be equal under the law and in the eyes of God? Reality seems to suggest otherwise.

Here is my analysis of 'how things really go'. Think on these things:

Why is it that in some cases where the police reportedly catch people red-handedly committing crimes, the alleged perpetrators are arrested, charged and named from the get-go, while in other cases, these actions seem to take forever? Notwithstanding delays necessary due to ongoing investigations, it appears that there is a lack of consistency regarding this issue. For instance, when news broke of the so-called 'X6 murder', the identity of the alleged shooter was not made known until days after his arrest. The case fuelled much speculation and agreement with Maas Jackass' sentiment that 'the world nuh level'.

Dancehall artistes are regularly arrested and charged for using expletives and profanity at public performances. Serves them right. However, think of the politicians who, while politicking, spew vitriol and effectively intimidate fellow Jamaicans. Any arrests or charges? Of course not, some of us are more equal than others.

 

FREE HEALTH CARE ILLUSION

 

Health matters, lives matter, but is this the reality for those who most need access to health care? Successive governments boast of giving us free health care, but nothing in life is free. Somebody must pay, whether in cash or in pain.

Picture this. Miss Mattie, a pensioner, needs life-saving medical care. Whether or not she is able to get the necessary tests or medication at the 'free' public institution is entirely dependent on availability and ability to pay. Now, when Mr Big Bucks, who is not as financially challenged as Ms Mattie, chooses to hog-up the freeness, rather than going to a private facility, the net effect is to reduce the availability of services to the most needy. There is no equity here; the system must cater to the needy rather than the greedy.

The practice of successive governments fuelling and capitalising on the freeness mentality to secure votes is undermining the health system. Without the necessary revenue, the system will soon collapse. Remember when the doctors spoke up on the conditions in the hospitals, having to use plastic bags as surgical aprons. Is that what we deserve? Those of us who can, must pay. People over votes, please!

To add insult to injury, the politicians, having fouled up the system, have rewarded themselves with health insurance benefits (some overseas-based); no public hospitals or clinics for them. Well, I say that since them mash up the system, them must be forced to use it, and feel the people's pain. Maybe then they will fix it. Until then, they remain more equal than us.

Last, my people, let me touch on the burning issue of political tribalism.

 

IF YOU ARE NOT WITH US ...

 

The political parties continually exude the philosophy of 'if you are not with us then you are against us', which means, "if you are not with us, we are not for you". The result of this has been to displace many hard-working and well-thinking Jamaicans from their jobs so that useless party lackeys can 'eat a food' and advance the party's agenda. It has also prevented qualified and capable Jamaicans from having an equal opportunity to access jobs. And, let us not ignore the numerous cases of mismanagement and waste that have been the result of unqualified persons being let loose to manage our public institutions. Notice that there is always an explanation - and no sanctions - even though we have legislation with strict prescriptions as to how these public institutions are to be governed. Sad, very sad. But if it was ordinary Jamaicans with no political ties, who had got their jobs through worth, they would be 'wearing short pants'.

I close with words from Bob Marley's War: "Until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes, mi seh war". Our reality: Until the colour of a man's vote is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes, until a man's skill, worth and ability are more significant than the colour of his vote, some people will continue to be more equal than others.

Ah gone.

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