Tue | Dec 5, 2023

The essence of logic

Published:Tuesday | March 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law.

Gordon Robinson, Contributor

Back in Apochrypha, R.U. Shaw hadn't seen his friend Ohma D'unn for years. Sci-fi freaks know Ohma's like a moon - bright only in the dark and definitely not of this world!

One day, he saw Ohma walking down the street. He rushed to him, "Where've you been?" he enquired. Ohma replied earnestly, "At the University getting my PhD. I'm a doctor of logic."

"A doctor of logic?" R.U. wasn't the studious type hence a shade slow. "What's that?"

"Let me show you. You want to be finance minister?"


"Well, you have to get into the Cabinet first, right?"

"I suppose so."

"Well then," Ohma's brow was knit and he looked very intense, "do you own a lawn mower?"

"Yes," answered R.U. quizzically.

"OK then. Fallabakami. If you own a lawn mower, you own a lawn. If you own a lawn, you likely own a house. If you own a house with a lawn, you're probably married with children. If you're married with children, then you can't be a b...man. See? Logic dictates that, if you own a lawn mower, you're not a b...man and you have every chance to be in the Cabinet and even finance minister. You see how mi good?"

R. U. thought about the argument's deadly accuracy after they parted and, soon enough, he ran into his good friend, Tweety, Apochrypha's minister of national treasures.

"Tweety," he began boldly, "you own a lawn mower?"

"No," answered Tweety who was about to explain his family's residence in an apartment when he was interrupted by a booming reprimand from R.U. "Good God, Tweety, me neva know sey you is a b...man! 'Ow yu get inna de Cabinet?"

This is the essence of Jamaican political logic. Examples of lawn mower logic:

If persons are Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) sympathisers, then they're traitors if the People's National Party (PNP) wins and patriots when the JLP wins. Ability is immaterial once the "other side" forms the Government;

If persons have unpopular preferences especially those frowned upon by an untested, admittedly old "testament", their knowledge or experience in any field is irrelevant and unwanted. The "testament", although hearsay, is gospel outside of The Gospels and only offenders who also achieve widespread international acclaim can expect to be judged solely on their characters. And the public expression of that judgment is itself born of Olympian feats of religious hypocrisy and oral gymnastics;

If America requests extradition of a politically-connected alleged "crimelord" and Jamaica's Extradition Act specifically commands the Government to proceed once the offence to be tried is also an offence in Jamaica unless double jeopardy applies, our justice minister should usurp our judiciary's role; interpret the word "offence" to mean "evidence"; embark upon an unauthorised enquiry into the "evidence" to be presented abroad; use Jamaican law to "rule" that it was illegally obtained; ignore that the evidence gathering was legal in America and admissible at the trial; ignore that evidence, even from tapped telephones, isn't inadmissible in Jamaica purely because it was illegally obtained (ask Kern Spencer); then, at the end of this Alice-in-Wonderland frolic, "decide" to breach Jamaica's International Treaty obligations despite the clear and present danger of diplomatic reprisals;

If greedy (oops, sorry, "small") depositors gamble (oops, sorry, "invest") in incestuous storefront operations disguised as licensed financial institutions induced by flawed promises from operators of dubious intent and lose their deposits as these poorly regulated institutions flounder, it follows that, because these depositors will cast more votes than the minority who resisted the sirens' lure, Jamaica's revenues must be mortgaged for generations to rescue them.

Allowing them to wallow in their own folly isn't an option. Instead, persons who borrowed to start legitimate businesses must be "finsacked". The storefronts' operators end up living in luxury abroad with no chance of rocking the boat in their own defence. So, let's do the math. One: allegedly incompetent or corrupt bankers quietly slip out of Jamaica and live comfortably abroad. Two: taxpayers compulsorily refund depositors who gambled for higher returns and lost. Three: investors in productive enterprise finsacked. 1 + 2 + 3 = Laaaad a Massy!!!;

If public financing of election campaigns is topical, spend $80 million kick-starting the JLP's next campaign. Call it "The Finsac Enquiry". Achieve more effective advertising than any traditional alternative. And the best part is: it's FREE!! Well, free to the JLP anyway.

Listen up! The vessel's content is unimportant. It's the label that counts. So, be careful. Better buy a lawn mower.

Peace and Love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Feedback may be sent to columns@gleanerjm.com