Letter of the day: Bunting's intemperate remarks
THE EDITOR, Sir:
POLITICS CAN be a dirty affair. However, it is especially disheartening to see it operating in your country. As a patriotic Jamaican, I am insulted by the uncouth behaviour some of our political leaders display. I wish to bring into sharp focus that most unfortunate and distasteful broadside against the parliamentary Opposition by National Security Minister Peter Bunting.
First, in dismissing concerns about the rise in murders, he described the piling up of our murdered loved ones as a mere, "bump in the road". It conveys such an uncaring and callous attitude by the minister. He, more so than anyone else, should be extremely concerned about the spike in murders, but alas, it appears as though he is of the view that without more, murders will return to normal levels. Bunting's disposition on the matter conjures up in the mind of the public an arrogant minister driving over the bodies of murdered people and saying to us, the alarmed public who are his passengers, 'Don't be alarmed. These are merely bumps in the road'.
And if this were not bad enough, the minister proceeded to throw his skirt up over his head in the fish market and cuss out the opposition spokesman on national security in a most undignified manner. Historically, politicians have used disparaging slurs to describe their colleagues; we have heard 'Jezebel', 'enemy of the state', 'fish' (as against a whale), 'wimps', 'lackeys' and 'yes men', 'empty barrels', 'termites', 'pathologically mendacious', and the list goes on. However, I have never heard the description 'Drong Crow' used by a politician to describe his colleague. This is perhaps the lowest insult a Jamaican can deliver to another Jamaican. Bunting has brought our politics to a new low. Not only was he careless for even possessing those thoughts, but grossly irresponsible and juvenile for allowing them to escape his lips.
Jamaicans are looking for dependable leaders, not people who are petty and confrontational. Bunting is not at liberty to lash out in any fashion he deems fit. He is, instead, expected to conduct himself, as much as possible, if not at all times, in a graceful manner - a manner befitting the office he holds. The incendiary and verbally abusive tone Jamaican politics has taken on is simply unacceptable. Jamaica deserves leaders who are not only capable, but respectable and exemplary.
If Minister Bunting insists on being petulant and confrontational, I strongly suggest he direct his efforts towards the monstrous issue of crime, which, while he wastes time being querulous and cantankerous, is threatening to choke the life out of us all.