Daniel Thwaites | Pray your MP dies
One parliamentary seat separated the Government from the Opposition after the last general election. This meant that every seat counts. If you're thinking that every seat always counts, think again. Ordinarily, after there's a big win for one of the sides, participants quickly learn that although all constituencies are equal, some constituencies are more equal than others.
I recall hearing an interview of Andrew Holness shortly after the 2016 win, and the interviewer was giving him a fair deal of grief for appointing Everald Warmington as a minister. Poor Andrew twisted and turned and did his best to explain that he had secured commitments for more gentlemanly conduct from Warmy in the future. The interviewer was hardly satisfied. But, thought I, what choice did Andrew have but to assign Warmy somewhere good? Andrew could not - and cannot - afford defection, and Warmy is known as a hotskull. So with his Government hanging by a thread, he was not in a position to get anyone too upset.
So look at SE St Mary nowadays. There's an extraordinary amount of attention being paid to it. The Government has jumped into action. There is no stretch of bush that doesn't demand immediate clearing. No pothole that doesn't require immediate attention. The villages are flush with valuable back-to-school vouchers in late October, and books must be furnished to every child. No matter how tough de pickney head was up till May when summer holidays began, this school year, new vigour shall be applied to educating this precious child of God.
Trucks delivering ply board, cement and blocks are pulling up and dropping deliveries. Warehousing was so much on the prime minister's mind, he inadvertently called his candidate the name of a warehouse operator that belongs to the other side. Who knew that the farmers had such great demand for fertiliser? A bumper crop is in the offing, and if it's weed that some of them are growing, the whole country had better prepare to get high. Fowl coops are appearing, stocked with chicks, and chicken feed a run! What cannot be achieved in the magical present is being planned with precision.
Better than all of that is the joy that has descended on the divisions of Belfield, Richmond, Castleton, and Annotto Bay. Who can count the street dances, parties, raves, revelries, merrymakings, gatherings, get-togethers, festivities, celebrations and bashments that have been hosted in St Mary South East? Apparently wine, beer, and other assorted refreshments are to also be had.
What are we to make of all this? Simple. I'm surely only one of many people who have concluded that the best way for citizens to get all of this magnificent attention from Government, its agencies, and the political elite, is if your member of parliament should happen to pass away. I know that 10 per cent of you who read this will think it's distasteful to even mention it but the facts speak for themselves.
Of course, a natural death is preferable, at least because nobody has to go to jail for a murder or face any other unpleasant consequences. But the good Lord helps those who help themselves, so the angels might need a little assistance from human hands. Plus, with the murder 'clear-up rate' of the JCF, it's not like you need to worry too much if you take matters into your own hands (so to speak). But still there's a small chance, and what is more, this is a law-abiding column.
So let's keep the focus on the natural deaths before any crazy people get any ideas. A far superior strategy is to avoid the moral hazard of direct action and instead concentrate on stressing out your MP with the hope that a heart attack or other stress-related injury will catch up with him or her. More and more medical research is pointing to stress as a significant determinant in the onset of chronic illness. So there's a real opportunity for citizens here.
Mind you, I'm not saying you have to see your MP and just go on the attack and give him a good dose of the verbal. That may be too much for you, especially if you've been raised to be polite and to watch your language and all that. However, you could do your little part for the nation by perhaps writing a wicked letter to the press. Maybe posting something horrible online. Or even just penning a nasty letter and sending it directly to your representative.
There are other little things you could do to help in this social effort to get Government to work. Allow your creative spirit some roaming room here. Once you understand the science behind the enterprise you can allow your imagination to run wild.
Basically, here's the science: Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream.
What you need to do is take action that increases the adrenaline and cortisol that is flowing through the veins of the average parliamentarian. I don't have a monopoly by any means on the ways to get this done.
In fact, I think there's evidence that Jamaicans are, as usual, ahead of the curve here. Consider calling and reporting fires that aren't really happening. Those things get the blood pumping. Or how about start a gang war here or there for kicks? That's an oldie but goodie.
Wherever your heart and head take you on this, just remember that you are following the blueprint set out in SE St Mary, where the untimely death of a good man has caused the hand of Government to stretch forth with a generosity and determination that would have delighted him if he was here to witness it.
- Daniel Thwaites is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.