Wed | May 31, 2023

Gordon Robinson | The essence of hearing

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2023 | 12:20 AM
In this 2020 photo, Poochie, a die-hard PNP supporter, sweeps the street at the polling station at Mannings Hill Primary in Western St Andrew, where Krystal Tomlinson faced off against Juliet Cuthbert Flynn.
In this 2020 photo, Poochie, a die-hard PNP supporter, sweeps the street at the polling station at Mannings Hill Primary in Western St Andrew, where Krystal Tomlinson faced off against Juliet Cuthbert Flynn.

I’ve just about had enough of New Twitter.

As the sole “social” media platform used by your not-so-humble, very anti-social scribe, I treasured its former guarantee of choice of who to read. I follow nineteen persons mainly family or friends.

Those not on my reading list include obsessive compulsive Tribalists especially those equipped by education to know better. On the other hand I don’t believe in “blocking” people except for personal abuse. So I’ve been vulnerable to Elon Musk’s bombardment of tweets from persons I neither know nor want to know and most of whose offerings represent single-minded drivel. There’s one in particular who has yet to find anything wrong with anything done by JLP (no, not “Sir P” who I know as “Brainbuster” – ask him how) and is a persistent advocate for long term States of Public Emergency (SOEs) as the pathway to “saving lives”.

That isn’t the problem. Strong arguments exist on either side of that issue. But, this Tribalist outdid himself as soon as the recent Panderson Polls were released showing PNP/JLP in a statistical dead heat. Many JLP loyalists went into immediate depression; others panic. Koch (my name for our dear obsessive twit) appeared to fall into the latter category as, presented to radio listeners as a “political analyst”, he focused on voter apathy (also evident from poll results) which he blamed on PNP blocking of SOEs.

I swear to God. Nobody can make this garbage up.

This is where I lose patience with some radio hosts. One in particular, who interviewed Koch, has the annoying habit of wasting valuable airtime repeating interviewees’ statements rather than interrogating them. If Koch had instead travelled to Apocrypha and consulted Oma D’unn, Oma would’ve told him to buy a hearing aid, then a cowboy story.

“A cowboy is riding along a trail in the old west and sees an Indian lying on his stomach with his ear to the ground. As he gets closer he hears the Indian saying to himself: ‘Wagon...two gray horses...two passengers, man and driving.’

“The cowboy goes ‘Wow! You can tell all that by just putting your ear to the ground?’ The Indian replies ‘No. Wagon pass half hour ago, run me over.’”

So the man I call Koch (work it out; it’s comic), instead of being forced to listen to reality, was allowed to propagate this horrendous rubbish without challenge. But voter apathy has been increasing for decades. It has NOTHING to do with SOEs and EVERYTHING to do with the systemic uselessness of our vote.

Why “uselessness”? Jamaicans aren’t allowed to vote separately for local representation and national government. So most vote for Party despite only offered a vote for MP. This forces “democracy” to focus on which party can win a winner-take-all vote and toss economic benefits around like paper towels after a Puerto Rico hurricane. When it comes to voting, Goodman’s Law prevails.

Don’t ask if it’s about the money. It’s ALWAYS about the money!

The inconvenient (for Tribalists) truth: Society is becoming more educated about governance despite formal education’s non-contributory efforts. More people recognise the incongruity of the systemic crap-shoot that elections (held at one Individual’s whim) have become. This absurd, anti-democratic hangover from a colonial master desperately trying to entrench a Monarchy even after “independence” is enhancing politicians’ desire to take us for fools.

More Jamaicans are saying “No mas!”. More are sick and tired of a dictatorial system operating to benefit politicians and their cronies in turn. We’ll NOT facilitate this “today-for-me-tomorrow-for-you” farce any longer. Until we get to vote more often; in a more targeted way; and have a real seat at the governance table between elections more will leave politicians to play amongst themselves.

Voter turnout data: 78 per cent (1989); 60 per cent (1993); 65 per cent (1997); 59 per cent (2002); 61 per cent (2007); 53 per cent (2011); 48 per cent (2016). Murder rates declined between 2012 and 2016 but, in 2016, when SOEs were a non-issue, the majority said a plague on both political houses. So why would any serious broadcaster allow a “political analyst” to disseminate unchallenged gibberish blaming voter apathy on absence of long term SOEs and then blithely repeat it as if listeners were deaf?

The latest party standings are the result of three years economic turbulence (including public sector wage volatility) and have NOTHING to do with leadership ratings which are weak all around. Government still has two years to handout economic gifts while Opposition can only watch and whine.

Oppositions don’t win Jamaican elections. Governments lose them.

Peace and Love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Send feedback to