Sat | Jun 25, 2022

Gordon Robinson | The essence of motherhood

Published:Tuesday | June 21, 2022 | 12:05 AM
With the latest declaration of a SOE in St Catherine, the Jamaican Government exposed narrow vision and populist anxiety, instead of a willingness to tackle the real problem.
With the latest declaration of a SOE in St Catherine, the Jamaican Government exposed narrow vision and populist anxiety, instead of a willingness to tackle the real problem.

Over in our favourite fantasyland, Apocrypha, National Security Minister Harris Ch’iang was at his wit’s end.

Yes, wit’s not wits’. After all, nobody would ever suggest Harris was anything less than an entire wit. But Apocrypha’s violent crime problem had become unmanageable. So, despite having previously imposed and lifted several States of Public Emergency (SOEs), he was considering doing it again. After all, he reasoned, if at first you don’t succeed …

But Apocrypha’s Constitution was recently updated to include a Charter of Rights that didn’t permit Government to impose SOEs for longer than two weeks without Opposition support. Previously, Opposition support had been volatile (or fickle, depending on who you asked), so Harris was confused.

He decided not to check Carlton’s. Instead he consulted Oma. Regular readers know Oma D’unn, a retired politician with a PhD in logic, but, like a moon, was bright only in the dark. Oma operated a consultancy firm that offered solutions to political problems with parables.

Oma advised Harris to buy a pet snake. Harris was even more confounded, so Oma told him the story of a mother and baby snake.

“Baby snake was very precocious; talking from he was very little. But sometimes he’d talk too fast; so fast that nobody could understand what he was saying. Mother snake tried hard but couldn’t get baby to slow down and think before speaking. Baby snake was very curious about life philosophy, but his mother often didn’t understand his questions so couldn’t answer them. But, one day, baby snake slowed down enough to be heard.

Mother snake was surprised to hear her baby speaking so distinctly. She easily heard baby snake ask, ‘Mummy, are we poisonous?’

‘Yes, son. Why?’

As clear as day, her baby explained, ‘I just bit my tongue!’”

I’ve repeatedly maintained no country’s crime monster can be tamed by legislation or SOEs. Crime monsters are children of corruption monsters, usually created by politics, who poison other institutions, especially the police. With the latest declaration of an SOE in St Catherine, the Jamaican Government exposed narrow vision and populist anxiety, instead of willingness to tackle the real problem.

Corruption, the real problem, is a disease that has been allowed to infect the national mind and body for decades without medical intervention. It’s the mother of every national evil. Power-hungry, corrupt political greed created garrisons and dons, spawning and facilitating gang violence, drugs and gun running, until now-uncontrollable gangs have turned around and bit their creators’ tongues, causing nothing but poisoned rubbish to spew forth.

Profligate fiscal policies (excessive borrowing for excessive spending to buy votes) drove selfish narcissists to over-burden innocent society with additional taxation, until too many tax-collection windows were decorated by corruption. Illegal gun and ammunition imports flourished.

Now Government employs band-aid SOEs declared by self-poisoned, forked tongues to hide its own monstrous offspring.

Until we restructure Jamaica’s current Totalitarian State (led by an unelected PM), masquerading as a Democracy, into one with institutions as checks and balances to political power, governments will have zero motivation to diagnose and treat the corruption cancer infecting the national body.

POLITICIANS NEVER LEARN

So long as we maintain our corrupt governance system and encourage politicians to attack judicial independence, we’ll continue to drink from a poisoned chalice filled with decades of political malfeasance, while judges struggle with poorly investigated/presented cases (evidence either unavailable or ‘lost’).

Despite a contrary inference from Gordon House pronouncements, the Judiciary is NOT an extension of Parliament. It’s a bastion to protect citizens from Parliamentary excess.

In that regard, a judge’s sole obligation is to be fair; look at ALL admissible evidence; and ALWAYS apply the fundamental presumption of innocence. Naysayers are unlikely to appreciate that principle unless a family member is unjustly charged.

Jamaican history is replete with instances of courts preventing a variety of political excesses. It would seem advisable for politicians to stop talking so fast, lest they bite their tongues and poison themselves; think this problem through; learn from history; and jealously guard Judicial independence.

But the one thing we learn from history is that politicians never learn anything from history.

Peace and love!

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.