A cabal within the Government?
The Editor, Sir:
The extradition proceedings in relation to the 'president'' have taken a turn for the worse.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, attorneys-at-law, and the role they have played in the proceedings so far, have eclipsed whatever legal or nationalist platform that the Government's response stood on. The very fact that more than a casual connection can be made with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips lends fuel, if not credence, to the supposition that the Government's stance is underpinned by who is the subject of the extradition request.
The conflicts enmeshed in the issues of the role that Manatt, Phelps & Phillips played; for whom; and at whose expense have collectively led our Government outside the pale of transparency, convention and perhaps legality.
Even assuming that the Govern-ment of Jamaica, as a distinct legal and representative entity, was not a party to the negotiations and contract with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, any involvement of persons in or near the Government in their personal capacities, and given the consequent embarrassment, creates a situation where, in any decent or pretensions country, resignations would be the order of the day.
But this is, sadly, Jamaica. Nobody resigns from anywhere or anything. Not even where co-conspirators/defendants have confessed or been convicted in other jurisdictions. Not even when an elected member of parliament has been charged and is facing trial in the courts of the land. And, with ostrich-like hypocrisy, we all wonder aloud why our people - in such huge majorities - see folly in the laws concerning possessing, selling and smoking ganja; why the night noises law is seen as a symbol of oppression; and why slothfulness, decadence and total disregard are so prominent in our ever-expanding subcultures of death and decay.
The Government's total and mindless preoccupation with the extradition issue has had a positive spin-off for the angels of death. With a possible increase of as much as 17 per cent in the murder rate in the first quarter of this year, compared with the corresponding period last year, it is clear that insecurity is the fastest growing area of national life.
When will the nation's chief servant recognise that where he does not have the numbers to make hard but necessary decisions, his over-riding duty to the nation is to resign and go back to the polls? There can be no greater or other imperative.
If there is a seminal grain of truth that three government ministers have played roles at or since the contract with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, despite official denials, a situation is created where people can objectively take the view that the Government has lost legitimacy and we are being governed by a cabal within the administration.
I am, etc.,
DELFORD G. MORGAN