A.J. Nicholson | Corruption - Mr Holness' test
The challenging dilemma of corruption facing our country has morphed into a test of enormous proportions. The innumerable paths along which the present administration has allowed the monster to roam, from as early as the involvement of its Cabinet ministers in the unclean 'debushing' exercise, and before, have produced deeply sunken tracks.
The prevailing volcanic corruption-in-government phenomenon is dangerous from several different angles and will require dispassionate examination as we face the 57th year as an independent state.
First, for those who insist on comparison, an impactful contemplation of the past quarter-century would no doubt lead to the Trafigura matter that has steadfastly been projected as a People's National Party albatross. That matter touched and concerned issues relating to financial campaign assistance during the 2007 general election exercises.
One is, however, left to wonder how well that chosen path of a revelation by Bruce Golding, as he stridently sought the prime ministership, has served Jamaica. For, until this day, the public has never been assured that the Jamaica Labour Party, since 2006, has had no Trafigura-like situation in its election campaign funding closet.
Second, at present, this monster of corrupt practices represents a phenomenon that encircles an entire government. Most uncomfortably, it has come upon us far too early following on the Dudus-Manatt episode of less than a decade ago. As such, it gives rise to national consequences internally, and resonates within the international arena.
Jamaica, it must be realised, being called upon, so soon once again, to summon the will to cast off the clothing of entirely objectionable governmental practices that tend to define a nation will require the kind of effort that is way beyond the ordinary.
And third, this highly dangerous phenomenon has, sadly, spread its tentacles expansively across a government that, quite discouragingly, is under the appallingly weak, clearly unprepared leadership of someone who, according to the prevailing sentiment, lest we forget, was projected as destined to take us into a new and different direction.
The mantra then: Out with the old and in with the young. Transformational leadership, now!
The lessons flowing from this eruption of corrupt governance practices must first be learnt and fully acknowledged before corrective measures can be developed and pursued.
That is, perhaps, the primary challenge that now confronts our beleaguered 56-year-old nation. Hope springs eternal!
- A.J. Nicholson is an attorney-at-law and former Cabinet minister. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.