Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Sick of self-serving political road hogs

Published:Saturday | December 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

TRICIA GRINDLEY BRENNAN

Businesswoman

Montego Bay, St James

On Wednesday morning, yet again, hundreds of us Jamaican citizens were subjected to almost being mowed down by a police vehicle, which created total chaos in an already bottleneck traffic scenario, all in the name of advancing a politician's passage.

The prime minister was nowhere in sight, and I think that most Jamaicans would agree that only he or she should be allotted this advantage for security reasons. I know that this has happened to too many of us several times over the years because both sides of the political spectrum constantly and quite boorishly indulge in this most obstreperous convenience. But we, as a people, need to demand that this disrespectful and dangerous behaviour be eradicated once and for all.

On Wednesday morning, when I first heard the siren, I prepared myself to do the best that I could to get out of the way, thinking it was an ambulance. I then looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that it was a police vehicle.

At that point, I thought that it had to be the transportation of prisoners, something that we see on the roads all the time. Both such situations undoubtedly call for the absolute cooperation of the driving citizenry - we must do everything to get out of the way so that an ambulance or police vehicle can advance swiftly in their missions. Equally, it is our duty to do the same for the PM.

 

Minister passing through

 

But in this case, the scenario that was at play was that a minister was passing through to get to an event. One of the two policemen in the escorting police vehicle exited the vehicle in order to walk to the head of the traffic to, I would assume, direct people out of the way, at which point the politician's vehicle swiftly pulled up. There was no visible medical emergency.

In fact, the politician sat looking smug and entitled in the government vehicle, as total mayhem unfolded around him, and this posture was indeed demonstrative of him not giving one hoot about the fact that he was the cause of the deluge of confusion that was created to facilitate him. It was sickening to witness.

When the electorate stays home on election day, basking in acrimonious apathy, we complain that our democracy is in crisis. When we look at our voting percentages, we deride the people and say that they are pleased with the way things are. When our people boycott the vote, we dispense all sorts of rhetorical entreaties that enact absolutely nothing meaningful to inspire the voting man or woman.

Here is who I blame: the arrogant politician who would shove 'his people' aside, all in the name of looking important and feeding his pathetic hubris. Shame on him, I say. Editor, we have GOT to do better than this. Out with this road bullying perk!