Sun | Sep 27, 2020

Letter of the day | An intentional act of treason

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2020 | 12:59 AM

The Editor, Madam:

T he Gleaner editorial ‘Are they still the Gangs of Gordon House?’ (Sunday, January 12, 2020), highlighted the failure of the major political parties to implement recommendations for making Jamaica a safer place to live. To learn that as far back as 1997, the ‘Kerr Report on political tribalism’ had called upon the political parties to “publicly declare their disassociation with all or any person involved or reputed to be involved in violence or drug trafficking” is disconcerting.

In the 2010 West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, aka ‘the Tivoli Incursion’, a similar recommendation going to the heart of the nation’s crime problem called for the political parties to go further by “dismantling the garrisons”. To date, the ‘Gangs of Gordon House’ has not met to discuss this radical surgery.

It was Aesop who said, “The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”

RJR94 FM news reported on October 13, 2017 that Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said: “The Government has determined that it will be unable to respond to one of the 10 recommendations made by the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry – the dismantling of political garrisons.”

In my article ‘Let’s take back Jamaica’ ( Jamaica Observer, July 23, 2019), I wrote that, “The word ‘determined’ means ‘having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it’”. Hence, the lack of political will to rescue Jamaica from its own creation as political power is more important than Jamaica, land we love.

Chuck further suggested that the “Government was struggling to figure out how to go about tackling the garrison phenomenon, noting that it was agreed that this was a job for the country at large.”


The Government, having ‘determined’ their position, throws in a spanner – “a job for the country” – yet they have failed to have the parliamentary hearings to seek the participation of civil society.

He also acknowledged that “garrisons belonging to both political parties have been allowed to become ‘states within the state’ and used to promote the interests of politicians”. Boom!

Like the unconstitutional “signed undated letters” once used by Andrew Holness to leverage political support by his Jamaica Labour Party appointed senators, so too, we now need to challenge the phenomenon of political garrisons in the courts.

Our political leaders have consistently placed political parties and power above the greater good of the State, an intentional act of treason; hence we need to remove the decision of its dismantling out of the purview of the political parties and into our hands through the Constitutional Court.