“Tis the seasons to be folly, tra la la lee, please elect me!” This is a really special time and after that “only 55 days left for Christmas shopping”. What a bonanza!
The by-elections in three constituencies are upon us. Two are non-starters because they are garrisons and attract no comment. Free and fair, and free from fear cannot be the words to describe the tribal associations that lead us to the belief that all is well. The concept of a challenge of ideas is not really an option for the ordinary citizen, whether highly educated or illiterate, the discourse will not be allowed, and all remain in the hands of their masters.
St. Andrew Southern; St Andrew South Western; and St Mary South Eastern are supposedly up for grabs in a very close Parliament. However with the exception of the latter, everyone (including the journalists) is accepting a foregone conclusion based on a learned or perceived acceptance of the garrison.
The two St Andrew garrison seats of the PNP are to be contested by two of the most educated Jamaicans: Mark Golding (a highly successful lawyer); and Dr Angela Brown-Burke; both highly capable persons in the art of rhetoric and logical thinking, so why would they feel comfortable in a situation that speaks to a previously degrading status of party over people? This is an unearned victory like a football match where Manchester United beats St Andrew Prep and holds a victory party.
Who are Dane Dennis and Victor Hyde? Will they be able to hold a public meeting within the boundaries of the constituencies with the assurance of democratic promises? The answer is a loud no, and neither could Senator Tom Tavares-Finson Q.C. in SW St Andrew in 1980. Can a political ombudsman (woman) or public defender guarantee those fundamental rights?
I must say that I appreciate those persons who offer themselves for public office out of a spirit of service or nationalism. However there are those who enjoy politics for the sheer adrenalin rush every few years (like bird bush and dancehall) and revel in the carnival-like motorcades. If the latter is the case, then why does human life matter at all in the heat of the destructive form of the “sport”?
The highly professional persons do little to stem the “old time” politics that simply uses other human beings like the hunting dogs used to flush out the fox from their hiding places. Then they pursue their victory on safe horseback (motorcade) decorated in orange and green.
St Mary South Eastern is a horse of quite a different colour, and even though there are pockets of support for both, it is not a foregone conclusion with regards to the outcome. Therefore the preparations and activities are quite different.
The “troops of the faithful” are unleashed and they attack with posters and glue; spray paint and poor spelling on the private walls of homes and offices; sticks and bottles; and knives and guns. They become the party zealots mesmerized by the group frenzy in a similar manner to the mad dances described in the Middle Ages, and the result is death.
The two party general secretaries are persons that I know and consider to be very decent men, and outside of the cruel season I respect them and their families. But when they attempt to claim victims as members of their armies, then they admit that they are supporting a blood sport. They are willing to repress their own moral beliefs in order to support irresponsible activities clouded in “democracy and choices”.
They support and vilify the very meaning of the word “democracy” in the same sentence. They want to sometimes emulate the “Westminster Model” of the same British that enslaved us quite legally through their own legal system that we have shamelessly adopted. But the British don’t condone acts of brutish political violence. Then we want reparations while clinging to a colonial farce.
These are not the actions of consistent and logical principles.
Highly respected and now forgotten singer and songwriter Pablo Moses in his song Give I fi I name says:
“Chiney man name Chin and Chong; Macintosh come from Scotland; Indian man name Rajah and Gavaskar; I man know seh Smith no come from Africa”.
If the intelligentsia wishes to lead, then at least let them think, and curb their tendencies to enter the frenzy of the dance. Jamaican citizens deserve better as it has been through their sacrifices that many of these potential leaders have been educated. Doctors of medicine are sworn to protect lives. Doctors of pharmacy have a similar obligation, so why not apply it.
While the Ice Age made the dinosaurs extinct, I do not subscribe to the reverse thought that global warming should enhance the breeding and indoctrination of the young of the species.