Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Holness clinging to colonial apron strings

Published:Friday | November 28, 2014 | 11:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Debates are now going on in the Jamaican Parliament concerning the replacement of the British Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). But Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is vehemently opposed to this move.

He firmly believes that Jamaica should strive for economic independence before fighting for political and legal independence. This is like waiting for the visible return of Jesus of Nazareth.

There is no doubt that Holness is using this argument to affirm his misguided belief that British justice is far superior to Caribbean justice. In this respect, Holness mirrors the relentless longing by many middle-class Jamaicans for the 'good old colonial days' when law and order took centre stage. This type of relentless longing has definitely hardened into a chronic mindset.

Let it be noted, however, that to question the integrity and capability of the CCJ is really a slap in the face for the many distinguished jurists that the West Indies has produced over the years. The calibre of these jurists is on par with that of Patrick Robinson, an outstanding and distinguished Jamaican judge who was recently elected to the International Court of Justice.

The call for a referendum with the hope that the result will block the full institution of a CCJ is to affirm the idea that the British Privy Council has a monopoly on justice - the type of monopoly fondly referred to as the 'Queen's Justice'.

Let it be said that to thumb one's nose at the thought of a CCJ is the ultimate put-down for all people of colour in the Caribbean and the diaspora.

I am indeed disturbed by the fact that after 52 years of partial political independence, the leader of the parliamentary Opposition and his supporters are still clinging to the apron strings of British colonial justice. They fail to realise that only a privileged few can afford the cost of appealing to the British Privy Council for justice.

It may be said that this yearning for the 'good old colonial days' of British rule is synonymous with a 52-year-old man who desperately wants to return to the protective arms of his mama as soon as he experiences difficulties in his life.

RUPERT JOHNSON

r.b.johnson@sympatico.ca

Ontario, Canada