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National honour for Paulwell? You've got to be joking

Published:Monday | August 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM


OK! Time out! We got the joke. Now can the Government of Jamaica, controlled by the People's National Party, announce the 'real' list of awardees for national honours? What are Phillip Paulwell, 'Babsy' Grange, and Fitz Jackson doing on the list? And who is Arthur Nelson?

Imagine my shock when I saw Paulwell's name, who Nationwide's Abka Fitz Henley aptly describes as "the most scandal-ridden minister [currently] in the PNP administration", being awarded for "distinguished" service to Parliament? What is so 'distinguished' about the handling of NetServ, EWI, Cuban light bulb, etc?

Was it not last year that the prime minister had to relieve him of his role in sourcing cheap energy for Jamaica? For three years, he has been leader of government business in the Lower House, which has presided over the passage of more bills to suit the IMF than to uplift this country's social and political fabric.

As MP, Paulwell has done nothing exceptional, brilliant and, most definitely, nothing distinguished. Fitz Jackson. What has he ever done to warrant 'distinguished'? This Arthur Nelson, a Google search of the name yielded a Gleaner article with the headline 'PNP western region stalwarts honoured'. He may have done a good job for the PNP, but an 'outstanding' job for politics in Jamaica?

Regarding, Babsy, sorry I love you and you truly deserve the award for contribution to music, but, ask yourself, Ms Grange, what have you done so brilliantly to get an OD for public service?


Joke business!


To make matters worse, somebody like Trevor Munroe was only awarded 'for contribution' to academia and social sciences, but Paulwell, and the rest of the lot, got the qualifier 'distinguished'? Joke business!

This stupid rule that MPs who serve more than 20 years should automatically qualify for a national honour must go. Get rid of it before Anthony Hylton is nominated.

Finally, yes, we should be grateful when people give 30 or 40 years of service, but why should the Government give out awards to civil servants purely on the basis of their years of service, which does not necessarily mean years of quality service?

It is right that we try to honour those who have genuinely contributed to the advancement of Jamaica, but when these vulgar political decisions are made, the respect that truly should be accorded is not, and the awards system is seen as a joke.