Por­tia and pot­holes

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY - Pa­tria-Kaye Aarons is a tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter and con­fec­tioner. Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com and find­pa­tria@ya­hoo.com, or tweet @find­pa­tria.

THE UP­COM­ING lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions have sparked ac­tiv­ity in crevices I never knew could come alive. I have lived in Duhaney Park for six months now, and only since the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions were called have I seen signs of life in the PNP con­stituency of­fice there. Now that a vote is be­ing sought, scores of per­sons are toil­ing up­wards through the night, an ac­tiv­ity very for­eign to the whole lot of them. Too lit­tle, too late, folks. Ac­cord­ing to the web­site of the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, these are your coun­cil­lor’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. I Mi­nor wa­ter sup­plies and so­cial wa­ter. I Mu­nic­i­pal parks and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion. I Ceme­ter­ies. I Mar­kets. I Abat­toirs. I Pounds. I Park­ing fa­cil­i­ties. I Parochial roads. I Lo­cal sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment plan­ning. I Drains and gul­lies. I Street lights. I In­fir­maries and other wel­fare ser­vices.

The parochial roads bit jumped out at me. I drove around the com­mu­nity tak­ing pic­tures of the streets and av­enues. Not one road in Duhaney Park is pot­hole-free. Not a sin­gle one. Some pot­holes are as deep as a foot and wide enough to nes­tle a sleep­ing dog. And you think you de­serve re-elec­tion. Why?

We all need to take a clin­i­cal look at the per­sons cur­rently serv­ing our com­mu­ni­ties and ask how good a job are they do­ing in the ar­eas high­lighted. Do you have good roads to drive on? Does your com­mu­nity look pre­sentable? Ceme­ter­ies bushed? Stray mon­grel dog num­bers low? Street lights work­ing? Drains been cleaned? Have you seen your coun­cil­lor be­fore last week?

If you’ve an­swered no to some or all of these ques­tions, time for a shake-up. These things aren’t a favour to you. It’s their job.


On an­other note, let’s talk about ‘Front-Teeth, Side-Teeth’ Sis­ter P. Se­ri­ously.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions and dis­agree­ments in the Clare­mont di­vi­sion saw Mama head­ing to the area to quash some ten­sions caused by a still miss­ing-in-ac­tion Lisa Hanna. Her at­tempt at peace: “No­body chub­ble me and get away with it ... . Don’t play with me. Cyaan mash up noth­ing ... . I will come back here for an­other meet­ing and I know who I will bring.”

The de­liv­ery of these words was backed by the fire of Lu­cifer in her eyes and the wrath of God when his tem­per flares. I be­lieved her.

Seek­ing clar­ity, I asked Dot­ing Day­ton who was she go­ing for, and to do what. His re­sponse: “She would be go­ing for can­vassers to can­vass.”

Turns out that’s the story the PNP is stick­ing to. Par­don me while I reach for the dunce cap. Ei­ther I am gonna wear it if I be­lieve that rub­bish or the au­thor of that spin should wear it per­ma­nently.

Less than a month shy of her 71st birth­day, as a for­mer prime min­is­ter, as a woman, that be­hav­iour is just not right.

Some­thing is fun­da­men­tally wrong when you can’t say sorry. When you can’t recog­nise that your be­hav­iour is un­be­com­ing and apol­o­gise for los­ing your cool.

Some­thing is also wrong when your in­ner cir­cle can’t see when you have erred. Can’t fess up that what you did was in­ex­cus­able and ask that peo­ple for­give your ac­tions.

Mama P, you need new fiends and a bet­ter Olivia Pope. The be­hav­iour in Clare­mont last week was not the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your best self. It’s on the In­ter­net. World lead­ers who you once in­ter­acted with and who you hope to in­ter­act with again can watch it. No bueno.

It’s also con­cern­ing when the future lead­ers you are train­ing con­sider that dis­play ac­cept­able be­hav­iour. Be­hav­iour the peo­ple de­served. The ar­gu­ment that you must meet your au­di­ence where they are is shame­ful. As a leader, you have a re­spon­si­bil­ity, a duty, to raise them up. Learn a lit­tle from Mrs Michelle O. When they go low, we go high.

I would much rather re­mem­ber you for be­ing the first fe­male prime min­is­ter. For the in­sur­mount­able chal­lenges you over­came to rise. The tremen­dous work you did in sports and labour. For run­ning ev­ery­where. For kiss­ing ba­bies. For the very unique way you pro­nounce “Ju­mayku”.

Let not tyranny be part of your legacy at this stage.

Pa­tria- Kaye Aarons

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