Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Some animals more equal than others

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 7:12 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The last time I checked, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert was a Jamaican politician. Politicians, it is alleged, are tasked with the responsibility of, among other things, making laws and decisions that benefit Jamaica and its inhabitants.

I heard on a radio newscast on July 26, 2017, where Mrs Dalrymple-Philibert was proposing that the pensions and benefits of retired judges be indexed to the salary of those currently serving. This is what was done for ex-prime ministers, who, incidentally, just happen to be ex-politicians, so it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine members of parliament would be next in line.

But what is it exactly that makes a retired judge a better, or more special, individual than a retired nurse, a retired police sergeant, a retired garbage truck driver, a retired tax office worker, or a retired teacher? Why isn't Mrs Dalrymple Philibert calling for all retired civil servants and government workers pensions and benefits to be indexed to the salary of people currently in those positions?

Interestingly enough, the salary and perks that accrue to a judge dwarf those received by the vast majority of civil servants and government workers.

The perception is already out there that Jamaican politicians are all about enriching themselves, their families, and friends, and pronouncements such as this one from Mrs Dalrymple-Philibert will only add fuel to the fire.

Now, I have nothing against judges, nor am I against her proposal, but why actively seek to widen the already gaping inequality gap and promote animus in this deeply divided country?

I propose that George Orwell's novel Animal Farm be made required reading for every Jamaican over the age of 13. There are so many parallels in that book to what obtains today in Jamaica, it is downright frightening. One particular line in the book that stands out for me is totally applicable today: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Sounds familiar?

ROBERT MITCHELL

mitcib@yahoo.ca

Christiana, Manchester