Wed | Jan 23, 2019

A.J. Nicholson | Did the culture minister get it right?

Published:Friday | June 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
A.J. Nicholson

The present awkward vice-grip from which the Holness administration now struggles to extricate itself, clamped on tightly by various extremely adhesive alleged corrupt practices, would not have come as a surprise to those who are adherents of karma, the spiritual principle of cause and effect - you reap what you sow.

The conventional wisdom is that this is a universal principle. King David, even though acclaimed to be "a man after God's own heart", could have attested to that.

It is recorded that King David was possessed of countless wives and concubines and yet he contrived not merely to deprive Uriah, one of the captains of his army, of his solitary wife by taking her unto himself, but also for her husband to meet an untimely death.

The prophet Nathan asked David what he thought of a man of much substance who proceeded to offer up the single ewe lamb that belonged to, and was the apple of the eye of, his neighbour.

King David's answer was that such a man ought surely to be put to death, and be made to pay for the lamb many times over. Whereupon, the prophet advised him that he was indeed that 'rich man', having done what he did to Uriah. David was made to pay a heavy price for having cast aside the cloak of right action - karma.




It has already been recorded that Jamaica's Culture Minister, Olivia Grange, denounced as being "bad mind", her fellow citizens who strongly objected to the newly constructed North-South highway being named for former JLP leader Edward Seaga.

In other words, the culture minister chose to accuse such persons of the very sin, frowned upon in the Commandments, that had driven King David to act as he did - covetousness. The question is: Did the culture minister get it right?

Minister Grange and her party leader, Andrew Holness, among others, have publicly shared that Mr Seaga can, quite correctly, lay claim to an abundance of riches when it comes to the range of contributions made to Jamaica's development when he served in public office.

So that, as a consequence therefore, there are several national monuments and entities to which his name has been, can be, and will, according to Holness, also come to be attached.

The citizens who Minister Grange and her colleagues labelled "bad-mind" had reasoned as follows:




History will record that, during the life of the administration of former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the prospects for the flowering of Jamaica's economic fortunes had at last come to be placed on a solid, sustainable foundation.

They say that it is also true that the unprecedented number of heads of state and government who chose to visit our country during her incumbency served to speak to Jamaica's rescue from the brink of being considered a pariah state to resume its respected place among the community of nations.

And yet, the single most visible jewel and apple-of-the-eye monument that came to fruition during her regime was, without doubt, the North-South Highway, which should be named for her.

And they say that the culture minister and her party leader and prime minister contrived to have the former prime minister, Seaga, who had indeed early denounced the very concept of the highway itself, and even with his acclaimed abundance of riches in the firmament of national contribution, agree and accept that the highway should be named in his honour.

Your guess is as good as mine as to the answer they would provide to the prophet Nathan, should they be confronted with the parable presented to King David.

One thing is certain: Karma dictates, unerringly, that there is a heavy price to pay.

- A.J. Nicholson is a former Cabinet minister. Email feedback to