Mon | Jun 17, 2019

Gordon Robinson | Well done, Missa Politician Man

Published:Sunday | May 19, 2019 | 12:15 AM
Lambert Brown

Jamaica is firmly trapped in a political cul-de-sac surrounded by thoughtless, unimaginative finger-pointing passing for political debate.

It’s sad. Not to mention pathetic. Political discussion in Jamaica today is bereft of philosophy, wit, or backbone. Gone are the days of “it takes cash to care” or “five flights a day” as politicians of substance had a sincere belief in political ideology, embraced and espoused their concept; and took responsibility for them. Now it’s “You carrup’!” countered by “you did it before me. You more carrup’!”

For example, NIDS. The Government proclaims that NIDS is Jamaica’s saviour; rams it through Parliament over loud warnings from the Opposition, media, and civil society groups; triumphantly passes it into law despite requiring hundreds of amendments; and then defends it stoutly in the Constitutional Court when the Opposition claims that it’s unconstitutional. Even as the court takes time to advise itself on its impending decision, the government contemptuously spends millions of dollars propagandising the benefits of the NIDS law with an advertising campaign promising Jamaican domino players easier bank loans.

Eventually, the Constitutional Court unanimously finds the National Identification and Registration Act (NIRA) unconstitutional and strikes it down in its entirety. What’s Government’s delayed reaction? It was the PNP’s idea which PNP championed until it lost the 2016 election. Jeez, Louise!

Well done, well done, Missa Politician Man.

Yu done wonderful job a tear down we country, demolition man

Well done, well done, Missa Politician Man (I hope you happy)

Yu done a such a great job selling out we country with yu business plan

INVESTMENT

In the name of “investment”, the fruits of which we’re yet to see, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) sells prime beach land at a giveaway price, which our Cabinet defends stoutly as the only path to back-end benefits in jobs, beach nourishment, revenues, and economic growth, generally. It sounds as if, had the UDC insisted on a more commercial selling price, the development for which the property was purchased by the owner of neighbouring lands wouldn’t take place. I say that it sounds that way because the responsible minister hasn’t, in his lengthy railing at the Office of the Contractor General’s (OCG) report, made any such allegation among the many barbs fired at the OCG.

Let’s get real. The published facts suggest strongly that the purchaser wanted the land more than the UDC needed to sell. The planned development would be very beneficial to the purchaser as well as provide the cited benefits for Jamaica if the development proceeds as stated. So the anticipated benefits were ALWAYS on the cards, regardless of the land’s sale price. So what was the immediate reason for the deep discount?

But it was comical to see Senator Lambert Brown on his feet in the Senate crying out at the delays in tabling the OCG’s report on the matter, almost as if he knew the report’s contents would prove embarrassing for the Government. What did he know? How did he come to know it?

Isn’t this the same Lambert Brown who, as member of the UDC board, staunchly defended the purchase of Outameni for $180 million (some fellow directors resigned in wake of the debacle) in a transaction that more resembled a bailout of a party faithful than a commercial deal?

My recollection is that at the time, Senator Brown said that the UDC made a “profit” because the property was valued at much more. DWL! How much actual “profit” has the UDC earned from that property to date?

Sigh. That’s politics in Jamaica. Today for me. Tomorrow for you.

Well yu fi get a round of applause fi all the work yu doing

Decisions weh yu mek weh lef di country inna ruins (yow!)

Strictly personal gain yu pursuing

s o di tax rates higher dan di planes weh yu flew in.

(Dem gone) fi go mek yu deal with the IMF

Now we nah have no bauxite nor no sugar cane lef’

Di hotels and di beaches, di Spanish dem go screechie

Mi nuh know how all yu dweet

But all me haffi say is

Well done, well done, Missa Politician Man

(I must congratulate yu)

Yu done a wonderful job a tear down we country, demolition man

Well done, Well done, Missa Politician Man

Yu done such a great job selling out we country wit’ yu business plan

Don’t get me started on the Petrojam/PCJ cesspool of corruption. Where was the OCG when Floyd Grindley reportedly fired the National Works Agency from an already executed contract and hired a private company at treble the cost?

Who oversaw the contract to Trafigura and the suspected kick-back to PNP by way of a $30 million campaign contribution for which PNP officials are still fighting tooth and nail not to explain publicly?

Cho, man! The only political philosophy we pursue in Jamaica in the 21st century is today for me; tomorrow for you! Is there a plan? Crime plan? Economic plan? Foreign affairs plan? Business plan? Any plan?

(A wah kinda plan?)

Which is to keep poverty and unemployment on the rise

Corruption and not to mention the lies

Election a when the tension arise

So you buy we Kentucky not to mention the fries

Anything fi secure your votes

And then yu rob di people fi secure your boat

Fi go a Goat island weh the Chinese own.

Di whole Jamaica is a Chinese loan

Me tell you

Well done, Well done, Missa p olitician m an

You’ve done a wonderful job a tear down we country, demolition man

Well done, Well done, Miss p olitician l ady

You’ve done a such a great job selling out we country

And yu still nuh pay we

REPARATIONS

Nobody owes more reparations to the Jamaican people than the series of governments we’ve suffered for 30 years. Yet some of us misguidedly, in my opinion, call on the UK government to pay reparations to the Jamaican government (for slavery?) while we still suffer under an official governance framework that encourages and facilitates corruption and fiscal irresponsibility. Not one politician has proposed one single new system to stem the tide of corruption, oppression, and arrogant abuse of the Constitution that passes for day-to-day governance in Jamaica.

The philosophy is obviously to point as many fingers as possible until voters once again “vote dem out” or “vote us in” so that the cycle of mismanagement, neglect, disrespect, callousness, selfishness, dishonour, and corruption can continue while the spinning wheel of politics spins unfeelingly.

It’s difficult to identify a single government policy decision or Opposition proposal credibly aimed at decreasing poverty. Employment statistics mislead us into believing education is the way because they’re persistently padded with short-term occupations like windshield washing. The situation is rapidly approaching farcical, especially when Government, at the insistence of its IMF bosses, tells us inflation is TOO LOW! Really? Seriously?

But still if inflation was a test yu woulda get A+

So when me mek di US di exchange rate buck

For the dollar getting weaker

and the solar light bill it woulda cheaper

but a JPS you prefer keep yah.

Ebenezer, so yu Scrooge ’pon di ghetto people

Weh yu starve and every year yu buy a better vehicle

Di things you do a beat we bad

but still yu manage fi keep yu job

So me ah tell you

Well done, Well done

Missa p olitician m an (Tek we money and yu gone)

You’ve done a wonderful job a tear down we country, demolition man

Well done, Well done

Miss p olitician l ady (Why yu a gwaan so?)

You’ve done a such a great job selling out we country

Come een like Humpty Dumpty now

Congratulate dem yu knuh

Yeah man give thanks fi di effort yu knuh

Yah, man, a nuff tings unno a gwaan wid yu knuh

But di yute dem see it still

So we give thanks

Keron Salmon is a young lyric writer, sound engineer, producer, and recording artiste of unlimited potential. He records under the name Kabaka Pyramid and has already released recordings like Can’t Breathe, Reggae Music, and Meaning of Life on his debut album Kontraband (title track featuring Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley) out of Bubble Rock Studio.

But for me, the very best from that album is Well Done, a sarcastic spoof of the results of political activity in Jamaica over the years. The Old Ball and Chain “discovered” the song and this talented young artiste on her travels then scurried home and visited me in my secluded sanctum (my attic jail eating my daily bowl of gruel) to regale me with his incredible talent. He joins a new wave of Jamaican lyricists and singers, including Protoje, Chronixx, and Junior Gong, who are insisting that Jamaican music, while evolving with the times, retains consciousness at the centre of its vision and meaning.

Peace and love!

 

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com