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We live in a real Jamaica, not an ideal one

Published:Thursday | September 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM


The issues surrounding the application for police commissioner by Jamaica-born Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Wilfred Rattigan epitomise where we are at as a country.

The debate is centred around whether or not a man with the qualification and expertise of Rattigan could not, at the very least, qualify for an interview with the Police Service Commission for the job of police commissioner.

There is a general view that Jamaica's political practices are not healthy for its development and might be seen as the main reason the country is lagging behind in so many areas. Those who share that view believe that politicians are self-serving and will do whatever is in their power to influence their support, even to the detriment of the country. They politicise just about everything. This has created a general distrust between the people and their political leaders.

Those in the diaspora and many others in the country believe that a man like Rattigan would have been an excellent selection. He certainly brings knowledge and expertise to the job based on his résumé, and the police force would do well with the injection of a new vision. He would also bring with him the other attribute that everyone is looking for, and that's the fact that he would be seen as independent of political influences. He could pursue his new job with a clear head, mind and conscience. This is the position of the realist.


The idealist, on the other hand, believes in the application process. One applies for a job and the employers reserve all right to hire whomever they so choose, based on their expectations. There are no legal requirements to explain to an applicant with specifics as to why he/she was not selected for a particular job. There are those idealists who also believe that the office of police commissioner should be reserved for only those persons who now reside in Jamaica, as such persons would have a better grasp of the issues affecting the police force specifically and Jamaica generally. They see this debate as much ado about nothing.

We might never know why Mr Rattigan was not selected at best or given an interview at worst, given his qualification, and the assumptions will continue. The idealist will be content with this, if not our political leaders. One thing to note, though, is that we live in a REAL Jamaica, not an IDEAL Jamaica.


Brompton, St Elizabeth