Enough with po­lit­i­cal hyp­ocrites

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY - Michael Ding­wall Guest Columnist Michael A. Ding­wall is a reg­u­lar let­ter writer to The Gleaner. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com and michael_a_d­ing­wall@hot­mail.com.

LAST FRI­DAY, I could not leave out as early as usual and my near 50-year-old stereo was tuned in to a lo­cal talk-show pro­gramme. I heard a talk-show host-turned-min­is­ter-turned-talk-show host again talk­ing, from the In­sti­tute of Ja­maica, about the mur­der of a 14-year-old Ja­maica Col­lege stu­dent on a bus Wed­nes­day and the ap­par­ent lack of con­cern shown by the other pas­sen­gers to the crime.

Now, while any­one in his right mind must be ap­palled at what hap­pened to that high-school stu­dent, and would cer­tainly not wish that for any­one, I could not help but won­der as to the hypocrisy of that talk-show host who, by the way, is a sit­ting mem­ber of par­lia­ment (MP) and the par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive for what many would call a gar­ri­son.


That politi­cian, who is well known, was lament­ing how the other pas­sen­gers sat by and watched the crime and did noth­ing. How­ever, I won­der what that politi­cian would have done if he was on that bus. Would he have done a ‘Jackie Chang’ on the mur­derer? Any­way, I have big­ger con­cerns with that par­tic­u­lar politi­cian – and, in­deed, many oth­ers in Ja­maica.

The con­stituency that that politi­cian rep­re­sents, which hap­pens to be where the In­sti­tute of Ja­maica is, oddly enough, is one of the best ex­am­ples of poverty that this coun­try has to show the world. To the politi­cian and talk-show host who talks about peo­ple ig­nor­ing crime, I have this ques­tion: Why is it that he him­self con­tin­ues to ig­nore crimes that are oc­cur­ring within his own con­stituency?


When one passes by some of those roads that head south, and oth­ers, and look at the Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­pany wires, one can­not help but won­der how those lines still con­tinue to con­duct elec­tric­ity. The large num­ber of il­le­gal throw-ups that ex­tract elec­tric­ity are so many, in some in­stances, they form a dense web that any spi­der would be very jeal­ous of.

Now, I know that that MP must be very much aware of those throw-ups, which are ev­i­dence of crimes. Now why it is that that MP doesn’t do some­thing about those crimes? Could it be that if he tries to get those res­i­dents to reg­u­larise their elec­tric­ity sup­plies, his days as an MP would be fin­ished? Why does that MP not do some­thing about those crimes, which he must be see­ing reg­u­larly if he is do­ing his job as an MP?

That gar­ri­son con­stituency is a cre­ation of these politi­cians. Now, I am not here say­ing that this par­tic­u­lar MP and talk­show host cre­ated that spe­cific gar­ri­son. How­ever, he has been the MP for that con­stituency for a long time. That gar­ri­son has proven to be a safe seat for him. Now, why is it that he does not spend less time flap­ping his jaw­bone on air and more time try­ing to dis­man­tle that gar­ri­son – one of many stains on our po­lit­i­cal land­scape?

The same could be said of the grind­ing poverty and crime that that con­stituency (or should I say fief­dom) is so well known for. This talk-show host al­ways talks about the need to move Ja­maica for­ward. Based on the state of his con­stituency, why does he not try to move his own con­stituency for­ward? Shouldn’t par­son be tak­ing care of his pick­ney first?

There are many other con­stituen­cies that ri­val that of this par­tic­u­lar talk-show host, so this MP is by no means an anom­aly. These politi­cians like to urge us to be proud Jamaicans, when, by the very state of their con­stituen­cies, they tell us that all they do is talk and talk (and fool and fool). If only these sup­pos­edly honourable burner politi­cians who like to call the ket­tle black would do more and chat less, we would have a much bet­ter Ja­maica.

As to this par­tic­u­lar politi­cian, please, start prac­tis­ing what you preach!


In this April 15, 2010 pho­to­graph is seen a web of il­le­gal elec­tric­ity con­nec­tions from JPS high-ten­sion wires in All­man Town, cen­tral Kingston.

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