Immoral JLP, tainted PNP
The Editor, Sir:
Consensus is very difficult to achieve in Jamaica because of the serious political polarisation that prevails. The closest we seem to have come to consensus recently, is in the call for Bruce Golding to step down as prime minister. And there are no two ways about it, for a leader who is stripped of all moral authority cannot lead a democracy, especially a country such as Jamaica, which is in a financial and moral mire.
So where do we go from here? Are we going to just continue getting excited over Mr Golding's betrayal or are we going to be decisive and move on?
I do not think there are too many people except the cultists, who think the People's National Party (PNP) is an alternative, so forget an election now. The PNP is still being haunted by the ghost of Trafigura and until they tell the truth about that matter they too have no moral authority.
For the question still remains, what did Trafigura pay the PNP $30 million for? Was it to contaminate our country with toxic waste as happened in the Cte d'Ivoire, killing many Africans and injuring another 31,000 (to whom the company had to pay compensation)? Was it to mine bauxite in our Cockpit Country and destroy that invaluable resource as was suggested? Or was it to bribe the Government to renew its contract to lift the Nigerian oil? All the options are unspeakable and until the PNP comes clean, their exploiting of the Golding betrayal is nothing but cheap politics.
This country has a serious problem with crime and Mr Golding cannot lead the charge to deal with gunmen as he has compromised himself terribly. Unfortunately, neither can the PNP with their well-established and oiled garrisons. In fact, they operate three times as many garrisons as the JLP does!
In my book, what needs to happen now is for civil society to step in and flex its muscles. We need to:
1) Insist that Golding goes now. (The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, etc, must not restart their talks with Government as long as Golding is the head.)
2) The deputy prime minister, Dr Kenneth Baugh, must be sworn in to continue the work of government. While Dr Baugh may not be the most dynamic of leaders, at least in his many years of politics he has never been compromised.
3) We must not lose sight of the root cause of all this drama - the extradition of the alleged don of Tivoli Gardens. Now that the hypocrisy has been exposed - the claim that the Government was protecting the human rights of a Jamaican citizen, civil society needs now to be vocal, unwavering and determined that the extradition request be sent to the courts immediately.
4) We need to be absolutely uncompromising in our call for the garrison constituencies to be purged of political collaboration (some 80 per cent of the violent crimes are traced to the garrisons) by the members of the PNP and JLP distancing themselves from the dons. For whereas people like Peter Bunting and Dr Peter Phillips would like to make pretty speeches to impress the battered and bruised citizens of this country that they have had a Damascus Road experience, after having so severely bitten by Mr Golding who came to us as a reformed person, it is going to take a lot more than pretty speeches to convince anyone of their sincerity.
This can only start when they distance themselves from the well known dons in their constituencies and cease to have them on their campaign teams. For the only way that this country can deal with the critical issue of crime is when the top of the stream is cleansed.
Yes, the present soap opera may stimulate our appetites but the business of the country must go on and now is the perfect time for the ordinary citizens of this country to take a stand and be determined that decency be the order of the day in the political arena from now on.
I am, etc.,