Thu | Jan 20, 2022

Only truth lasts

Published:Monday | August 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Embattled JLP leader, Andrew Holness.

Anybody know a bookie taking bets on the next election?

I've been searching for one but found only pretend bookmakers in Jamaica. I plan to sell house, car and Old Ball and Chain and wager the proceeds on the People's National Party (PNP) to win.

This is unrelated to the latest polls. Jamaican polls provide only occupation for pollsters and puff for media. With due respect to our pollsters, Jamaican politics isn't responsive to science. The only way to 'science' a Jamaican election is to eschew the new bypass and visit a building on Mount Rosser.

This is also unrelated to recent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) infighting initiated by an internecine faction that could easily be dubbed The Paleface Party. This faction seems determined to hand elections to the PNP on a green platter. Neither faction attracts sympathy. One acts as if entitled to perpetual control based on breeding, while the other seems incapable of principled response. Lord, deliver us! Maybe if the JLP implodes, a new, vibrant Phoenix will rise from the ashes in time to give my grandchildren hope.

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam

and admit that the waters around you have grown

and accept it that soon, you'll be drenched to the bone.

If your time to you is worth savin'

then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone.

For the times they are a-changin'.

I do, however, have a message for Young Andrew. Andrew, your political future may be bleak, no matter who 'wins' the current squabble, but give thanks and praises, your ability to craft your legacy is still alive. You're at a fork in the road. Don't take Yogi Berra's advice; choose Jamaica. Take decisive steps to exorcise ringleaders of discontent whose path to personal power runs through JLP and Jamaica's destruction. If you go down with them, fine. For Jamaica's sake, go with a bang, not a whimper. Carefully select seats of fire so a Phoenix can rise. Don't leave only ashes.

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call.

Don't stand in the doorway; don't block up the hall

for he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled.

For the battle outside ragin'

will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls.

For the times they are a-changin'.

I'm placing my bet because Jamaican elections have NOTHING to do with voting, issues, national discontent, candidate character, or party unity. NOTHING. NADA. ZIP. ZERO. Thanks to anti-democratic Westminster winner-take-all electoral deception, Jamaican elections, like NFL games, are won in the trenches. While pundits/fans marvel at the leadership and athletic skills of quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, linebackers and corner backs, every NFL game is won and lost by the offensive and defensive lines grinding it out play after play in mud and snow, substituting blind loyalty, blood and guts for talent.

Similarly, political street generals determine Jamaican elections. How many opponents' supporters can you encourage to stay away/surrender the streets? In that contest, Paul Burke vs Horace Chang is a 'sin side'.

Come writers and critics who prophesise with your pen

and keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again.

And don't speak too soon for the wheel's still in spin.

And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'

for the loser now will be later to win.

For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan's 1963 exposé remains relevant today. Jamaica's political crisis is as dangerous as media's crisis of cowardice. Media waste paper and time on an envy-driven peep show starring Young Andrew's home without a shred of evidence of corruption yet ignores Delroy Chuck's public call for legislators to facilitate possible corruption cover-up. Why haven't media boycotted every JLP event until Everald Warmington is severely sanctioned for assault and unparalleled boorishness to media?

Government propagandists are allowed to parade as independent columnists praising obviously failing ministers without once mentioning the PM's disconnect from the people. The STAR now facilitates pretend interaction with the PM where she's given time for her spin doctors to respond to written questions from a highly illiterate nation. Well, goody, goody gumdrops!

Our time here is fleeting. Media's duty is to expose, not assist illusion. Pandering, narcissism, pontificating is passÈ. Panel 'discussions' packed with vested interests produce noisy, irrelevant babble that only clouds focus on media's real purpose. None of the above will be remembered. All that lasts is truth. Don't be content to regurgitate others' truth. Speak and write yours always.

Peace and love.

P.S. Yogi Berra's advice: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"

n Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to