Mon | Mar 25, 2019

JaRistotle’s Jottings | He who feels it knows it

Published:Thursday | February 14, 2019 | 12:09 AM

When news broke two weeks ago about the murder of East Portland Member of Parliament (MP), Dr. Lynvale Bloomfield, I happened to be on the corners with some of my drinking buddies. Almost immediately my-not-so well-informed colleagues started speculating as to the reasons behind his death. Such speculation was also widespread on social media and even in the news media.

I will not pretend that I have any idea as to the reason or reasons. Suffice to say, it could have been politically motivated, a case of domestic violence, robbery or extortion. Regardless of reason, another life has been needlessly lost.

What makes this case particularly interesting is that this is [only] the second sitting MP to have been killed in the last 40 years, whereas statistics indicate just over 31,000 Jamaicans were murdered during this period: two in 31,000 is not a bad figure all things considered.

The point here is that our politicos have never felt the people’s pain where murder and mayhem are concerned, albeit that speculation is rife as to their individual and collective roles in many of these 31,000-plus murders. So, what makes our politicos seemingly exempt from the murderers’ hands?

As I have often said, criminals are going to be hesitant to target their ‘business partners and bedfellows’. As we often say, ‘duppy know who fi frighten’. However, let me hasten to point out that I know not of anything that would suggest in any way that Dr. Bloomfield was involved in any shenanigans or was associated with scoundrels and lawbreakers. He appears to have been an exception to the rule of misplaced association for political purposes.

Anyway, back to the point. Politicians appear to be off-limits because it is the said politicians who wield the power to turn up the heat on criminals, to determine the implementation, continuation or cessation of initiatives such as states of emergencies and zones of special operations.

Now our politicians are well aware of their protected status and use it to their advantage without hesitation namely because they can do so and get away with it. No right-thinking Jamaican outside of political circles is going to jump up and broadcast details of the known associations between politicians and criminals - not unless they see a coffin they like. Such are the realities.

But the political ploy of strategic alliances does not end there. Just look at the proliferation of lawyers within their ranks, lawyers who are always ready to jump to the ‘aid’ of the innocent until proven guilty and then some. I wonder if some of these high profile lawyers are going to be as quick off the mark should anyone be charged for Dr. Bloomfield’s murder? I am not holding my breath on that one.

It is a known fact - pure human nature - that we are more inclined to put preventive measures in place when we are directly affected, or likely to be affected. After all, who feels it knows it. It follows therefore that two in 31,000 is not a high enough ratio to cause any serious concern among our politicians: mere collateral damage so to speak.

Now, I am not in any way advocating that politicians should be targeted or killed in order for the rest of the population to be afforded greater protection against the free-roaming agents of death. Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call for them to get off their not-so-endangered backsides and start doing what they should have done 31,000-plus lives ago. Until then, who knows what’s next or who is next!