Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Party blues: The man with the gold rules

Published:Monday | March 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM


On the night of Friday, March 18, 2016, there was a party in my community. The music was extremely loud, so loud that early on (say, about 9:30 p.m.), I could hear it although I had my earphones in.

Now, as I understand it, the Noise Abatement Act dictates that parties with this kind of sound system be turned off by 2 a.m. I, however, knowing the history of parties in my community, called the police station at 12:30 to inquire what time the party should end.

I was told by the officer on duty that the party would end at 2 a.m. At 2:15, the person on the microphone was assuring the crowd that the party would continue until daybreak. When I telephoned the parish councillor, I was informed that people have been known to pay extra and be allowed to keep their party for extended periods.

I kept pestering the police. The duty officer told me that she could not get up from around her desk and come and shut down the sound system. I also called 911. Eventually, the party ended at 3:20.

Apparently the Golden Rule is out of style in Jamaica and now it is the man with the gold who rules. The Constitution guarantees "equal treatment under the law for all", but it is abundantly clear to me that this is not worth the paper it is written on. The evidence seems to point out that once you can spend, you can expect deference and respect. If you have none, you can expect to be treated like a dog.


Polly Ground

Ewarton, St Catherine